Copyright Clarification

Decorating By Kread Updated 11 Apr 2011 , 5:31am by jason_kraft

Kread Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 2:10pm
post #1 of 13

Can someone please tell me if I have this right?

It's ok to make a cake with licensed figures on top (or chocolate transfer of a character) as long as it's for personal use (you can't sell cake, but you could give as a gift).

You can't recreate a licensed character (Elmo cake pop for example, is a no-no, even for personal use)? This last one is confusing to me, since bakerella has a tutorial.

And on nickelodian, they have tutorials for how to recreate their characters...How about the Mickey hat cake topper? Is that ok?

And how do you get permission to use images? Is it easy to find the right person to ask? I make cakes for fun, and love trying all the bakerella cake pops, and post pics to share with friends, but I want to make sure I'm not doing anything illegalicon_smile.gif

I just recently saw a post about this, and I still was a bit confusedicon_wink.gif thanks for the help and sorry so many questions!!

12 replies
louanne Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 4:34pm
post #2 of 13

if you purchase figurines or use an edible image from decopac or other company liscensed to sell the copyright image you MAY sell the cake, if you make your own characters, or use the wilton character pan, cookie cutters etc and replicate the character then it CANNOT be sold, but is typically viewed as okay as long as it is for friend/family where there is no monetary gain.

Kread Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 4:49pm
post #3 of 13

Thanks! That helpsicon_wink.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 5:27pm
post #4 of 13

I believe Bakerella has gotten permission from Disney to make character cakepops..She has a Mickey/Minnie Mouse,Winnie the Pooh and Stitch from Lilo and Stitch and I think they have allowed her to do them through some agreement which I'm sure she has to pay a royalty or copyright fee.

motherofgrace Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 5:39pm
post #5 of 13

With Bakerella, she has permission, but if you look you have to go to the disney SITE to see the instructions. So she is allowed to post the pictures, btu not the insturctions.

I believe she explained it somewhere, I just forget which post :S

Kiddiekakes Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 13

I believe Mother of Grace is right..You have to go to their site to see how to make them...

motherofgrace Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 5:53pm
post #7 of 13

I think it might be the mickey mouse post she explained it... let me see!


No she doesnt explain it, she just said " she has been wanting to share them, and go the go ahead"

kakeladi Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 5:59pm
post #8 of 13

.........if you purchase figurines ...... you MAY sell the cake.............

This isn't exactly right either from what I have heard from shopowners.
If YOU purchase figurines and place them on a cake then sell it's totally a no, no. That is if the figurines are included in the price of the cake. If the customer buys them *and* places them after you have sold them a cake that's o.k.

Very confussing I know icon_sad.gif The only exception is if they are part of a design from DecoPac. Then the cake *MUST* be decorated *EXACTLY* as shown on the card that comes with the figures. NO changes - can't make a bead border instead of the shells shown, not even colors can be changed.

If you offer figures for sale in your shop and the customer askes you to make a cake using them they have to have a seperate recipt for the figures and another for the cake.
It really gets hairy! icon_sad.gif

Kread Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 7:24pm
post #9 of 13

So, back to the cake pops, does that mean I can make the cake pops, share my pics, but just not sell them?

motherofgrace Posted 10 Apr 2011 , 7:30pm
post #10 of 13

The reason bakerella can post is because she has PERMISSION, right from disney. You can make them, I am just not sure if you can post them.

scp1127 Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 4:50am
post #11 of 13

You cannot reproduce any trademarked item without permission, even for yourself. If you are prosecuted, the awarded damages are greater if you sell them. If you reproduce an image over ten times, it becomes a federal criminal offence. The reason you can make the Wilton characters for personal use is because you paid a little bit for the use of the trademarked pan. Wilton has permission and pays fees (that are paid by you).

It has been discussed many times on CC. Attorneys are searching the internet for these infringements. You may be sent a summons a year from now for something that is on here today.

If you think my information is incorrect, look it up yourselves. It is very simple to research.

You can make a generic background cake. The customers must purchase the licensed item and place it on the cake themselves.

Decopac is like Wilton... you are paying the fee.

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:25am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

If YOU purchase figurines and place them on a cake then sell it's totally a no, no.



If you purchased a licensed figurine, put it on a cake, and sold the cake, you would not be considered to be infringing based on the first-sale doctrine, which says that the copyright owner cannot control what a customer does with a licensed item once it has been sold.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

Making your own figurine of a copyrighted character does not qualify for first-sale doctrine protection, since your creation is not licensed.

Of course, you can still be sued even if you are protected by the first-sale doctrine...the plaintiff would lose, but you could still be out legal fees.

Quote:
Quote:

The only exception is if they are part of a design from DecoPac. Then the cake *MUST* be decorated *EXACTLY* as shown on the card that comes with the figures. NO changes - can't make a bead border instead of the shells shown, not even colors can be changed.



I doubt those restrictions would hold up to legal scrutiny if they were ever challenged in a courtroom -- but again I wouldn't want to be the one to pay for the legal costs of that challenge. icon_smile.gif

The safest course of action from a pragmatic perspective is to have the customer place the figurines/toppers after they take possession of the cake.

jason_kraft Posted 11 Apr 2011 , 5:31am
post #13 of 13

And to clarify, the licensed cake pans do not fall under first-sale doctrine protection, since you are not reselling the pan, you are using the pan to create a new product (the shaped cake).

The big difference is that you can essentially create and resell an infinite amount of shaped cakes with one pan, but you can only resell a licensed figurine once.

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