Working With/around Copyright Issues

Business By CreationsbyCarla Updated 10 Mar 2011 , 5:37pm by EpicureanMaiden

CreationsbyCarla Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:36pm
post #1 of 15

I am just a very small home cake lady. I have been asked to make a cake with a Snoopy on it for a customer. I know I cannot make exactly Snoopy w/out infringing on copyrights. Any ideas on how much to change him up or how to change the image to avoid legal issues and still keep him recognizable? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

14 replies
mayo2222 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:41pm
post #2 of 15

Well anything that looks like Snoopy is an infringment. Even if he was colored green with blue poka dots. My suggestion would be to contact the license holder and ask for a one time use license or ask your client to ask.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 2:57pm
post #3 of 15

If someone can look at it and say "that's Snoopy" you are in violation. So blue Elmo... yellow Barney... it's all the same. It sucks for us because of course people want cakes with their favorite characters on them, but I'd just say no. Unless of course you or your client can contact Peanuts Worldwide LLC and get a one time release. Some places will very happily do that for you.

cerps Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:33pm
post #4 of 15

To add to this thread, what if it's a cake for a family member that is not paying you?

KJ62798 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 4:41pm
post #5 of 15

The best option is to do a "background" cake--something in the colors associated w/the licensed character. The client can then provide a set of official toys to put on the cake. Without the toys, it is just a cake. With the tous you get the themed cake w/o copyright infringement AND the birthday kid gets a little something to play with after the party.

Snoopy toys are hard to find but the Disney Store sells character toy sets for nearly all their movies/shows that are perfectly sized for cakes and go through the dishwasher nicely.

HTH
Kristy

mayo2222 Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 5:09pm
post #6 of 15

If this is just a gift than you are okay.

CreationsbyCarla Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 5:12pm
post #7 of 15

So if I do a black and white beagle who is not Snoopy with extra spots or something that is really the only way not to violate cr laws. I doubt if I have time to get back permission to use the image, prob takes a while for something like that?

This is not a birthday cake, it's for a baby shower. The mom's theme is Snoopy. Had considered using a toy. After I proposed 2 cakes (neither including actual Snoopy) they showed me another cake with a dog image on it and asked if I could do something like it but Snoopy instead.

Do people try to make changes alot to you others here as well? You quote I will do this for this amount and then they want to negotiate well will you do this instead?? Very annoying.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 6:51pm
post #8 of 15

Like I said... if it resembles Snoopy it's a violation. So if it has 5 spots of no spots and it is the same basic shape as Snoopy then no... that will not protect you.

Your best bet is to stay away from copyrighted characters completely.

As for haggling customers... sure. We all get that. Par for the course really in any business. Just stick to your prices. If a customer comes to me and wants a grand design and is shocked when I come back with a quote in the $500.00 range I will ask their budget and show them what their budget can get them. Sometimes they like it and go for the cheaper cake... sometimes they don't like it and opt for the more grand cake anyway... and sometimes they say thanks but no thanks.

All in a day's work... LOL.

CreationsbyCarla Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 3:44pm
post #9 of 15

Just wanted to follow up on my original post.
I emailed Peanuts LLC like was suggested. They gave me one time permission to use the image I wanted as long as I didn't post a pic on my website or use it for advertising(which I don't even have or do, just word of mouth so no probs there). I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they responded and settle the matter.

pummy Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 3:57pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreationsbyCarla

Just wanted to follow up on my original post.
I emailed Peanuts LLC like was suggested. They gave me one time permission to use the image I wanted as long as I didn't post a pic on my website or use it for advertising(which I don't even have or do, just word of mouth so no probs there). I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they responded and settle the matter.




This is good to know...thanks for sharing!

Cayke Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 4:21pm
post #11 of 15

thanks for sharing very interesting

mayo2222 Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 4:28pm
post #12 of 15

Glad it worked out for you!

CreationsbyCarla Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 4:31pm
post #13 of 15

I'm glad it worked out too. Hopefully my experience might could help someone else in the future as well.

bonniebakes Posted 9 Mar 2011 , 7:52pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayo2222

If this is just a gift than you are okay.




Actually, according to the conversation I had with someone in the copyright office in DC, that is not true.

Infringement is infringement - it has to do with the reproduction of the image, it has nothing to do with whether or not you make any money off the item.

EpicureanMaiden Posted 10 Mar 2011 , 5:37pm
post #15 of 15

Good to know they were responsive! :0)

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