I have read all the posts about copyright issues but there is one question I have about it. Is it legal for me to buy the licensed cake toppers or even regular toys and use them on my cakes that I sell? I have heard some people say that I can't do that, the person buying the cake from me would have to buy it themselves and set it on the cake after they get it home. That doesn't sound right to me. Why would it matter who bought the toys or toppers? I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.
It is my understanding that the licensed toppers are for the pre-approved designs they are generally used with.
It probably matters who brought the toys because how you are selling the cake. For example if you brought toy story toys and placed them on the cake, that makes it a toy story cake, which would be in violation of the copyright. If you made a cowboy theme cake and then your customer put jessie on the cake then you sold a cowboy theme cake, your customer made it relate to toy story.
To get around this issue, I tell customers that I cannot sell cakes with the figures on it because they are copyrighted and I could get sued. I then work with them to create a general theme that relates to what character they are looking for.
Examples: dora/diego - jungle/forest; little mermaid - under water