Re: Birthday Cake - Copy Of Existing One

Business By Panel7124 Updated 31 Aug 2011 , 11:50am by Bluehue

Panel7124 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:00pm
post #1 of 17

Client e-mailed photos of cake that she found on-line. Wants exactly the same for her daughter's birthday party. It's a simple two-tiered white-violet color scheme cake with teddybears and flowers. I tried to convince her to make another design in the same color scheme, but won't listen. There is surely the issue of copyright - what would you do? I tried to find related topics in forum but the posts are probably cancelled (error - not found).

16 replies
kelleym Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:11pm
post #2 of 17

You can't copyright a cake design. Unless this cake has copyrighted characters on it, there's nothing illegal about it. Boring, yes. Illegal, no. I once was handed a picture of a baby shower cake and told to make that cake exactly. It was one of my least favorite cakes to do.

bakerliz Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:33pm
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Boring, yes. Illegal, no. I once was handed a picture of a baby shower cake and told to make that cake exactly. It was one of my least favorite cakes to do.




I second that!! There's nothing less fun than duplicating another cake especially if you didn't even like that much in the first place!

Tacy09 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:36pm
post #4 of 17

ditto! The only thing worse than that is when several people hand you the same picture....I cant tell you the number of zebra cakes with a pink bow I have done!!! I never want to see zebra again!

bakerliz Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:44pm
post #5 of 17

Maybe we can start the "No More Zebra Cakes With Pink Bows Revolution" icon_confused.gif
Maybe it needs a catchier title icon_lol.gif Whatever we call it, I'm in!

Bluehue Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:46pm
post #6 of 17

We are allowed to say *no* to customers if we do not wish to make a certain cake.

I don't understand the idea of we must say yes to every cake order we are asked to bake and decorate.

If you do not wish to copy that cake - then don't.
I might sound harsh but if i do not want to do something - then i don't.

Whether it be baking and decorating a cake or walking in a thunderstorm...

No one is holding me in chains beating me with a big stick telling me i must make that cake.

I had a consult where the Bride and Groom requested a 3 tier cake - Pink flowers everywhere and THEN.....wait for it...
Red Foorballs tumbling down from the top tier to the edge of the cake board.......as tho it were a swag of material.

I just sat there looking at the Bride and Groom to be and said -
"your joking tapedshut.gif - i am not putting my name to that".
End of consultation.

Again - i wasn't in chains being beaten - so i didn't take the order.

However i have kept my good name in Caking and not had a party of 230 guests asking -

"Who the hell made that"?
"Why would anybody make that"?
and - "What was the caker thinking to deliver something like that"?


Bluehue.

kelleym Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 1:51pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

We are allowed to say *no* to customers if we do not wish to make a certain cake.

I don't understand the idea of we must say yes to every cake order we are asked to bake and decorate.

If you do not wish to copy that cake - then don't.
I might sound harsh but if i do not want to do something - then i don't.

Bluehue.




I am nobody's patsy. This was a good, repeat customer of mine who usually had very cute design ideas. I had done at least 5 cakes for her in the past. Should I have thrown my good customer overboard because I didn't want to make one cake? Do you think she would have come back to me if I'd refused to make it? Life isn't always just black and white, you have to weigh the options and choose the best course. icon_biggrin.gif

bakerliz Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 2:13pm
post #8 of 17

We can certainly say "No" and I have when I felt that the cake was not in good taste. That being said, I've also said "Yes" to several cakes that I was not very excited about doing because they were boring or used techniques that I don't enjoy as much as others.

For example, I don't generally do buttercream cakes because I suck at it and it's really hard for me. When a good client asks me for a smash cake and wants it in buttercream so it will be messier, I say yes and work my butt off to get it right.

Lets also not forget that some people may need the business more than the luxury of saying "No"

Just to be clear, I'm greatfull to have business and customers who return to me often, I was only commenting on some cakes that I don't enjoy making as much as others. (Like zebra stripes with a pink bow) icon_biggrin.gif

Tacy09 Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 2:23pm
post #9 of 17

I could have said no, and I kind of wanted too, but I live in a very small/rural town so there are sometimes several weeks that I dont have any orders. So the reason I rarely say no is because its a chance to practise as well as its my only income (as Im a full time college student as well). I do usually try to add something or change it any way I can.

Bluehue Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:45pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

We are allowed to say *no* to customers if we do not wish to make a certain cake.

I don't understand the idea of we must say yes to every cake order we are asked to bake and decorate.

If you do not wish to copy that cake - then don't.
I might sound harsh but if i do not want to do something - then i don't.

Bluehue.



I am nobody's patsy. This was a good, repeat customer of mine who usually had very cute design ideas. I had done at least 5 cakes for her in the past. Should I have thrown my good customer overboard because I didn't want to make one cake? Do you think she would have come back to me if I'd refused to make it? Life isn't always just black and white, you have to weigh the options and choose the best course. icon_biggrin.gif




I admit - i am a very Black and White person.
Do or don't do....... I find it makes for a less stressful uncluttered life.

The bride and groom to be i spoKe of above - they were returning customers.
I made the ladies 21st B/D cake - their engagement cake - and she has actually contacted me (albeit 3 months after the original consult) with another idea.
Which i am more than willing to help her design.

Just because i have have said no to certain designs of cakes doesn't mean i am going to loose an order completely.
Some customers have no clue as to colour/design........ and when a dummy cake is made for them to see what their real wedding/engagement cake will look like - they have been horrified.

So i have no remorse in saying no to something i don't want to put my name too.

Each to their own - as with everything in life.

Bluehue

bobwonderbuns Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:52pm
post #11 of 17

I tell the brides "I'm sorry, we do not duplicate cakes." PERIOD. If they persist I tell them "Even if I took this cake on, it won't look like the picture. They never do. HOWEVER, what I CAN do, is take the elements of this cake (example -- pearls on sides, cascading roses, whatever) and incorporate those elements into a unique cake just for you." They usually go for it. Some don't and that's fine too.

Heck, I don't even duplicate MY OWN cakes designs!! Here's a funny story -- I had a gal order the "Edie's Shoe Cake" (in my pix.) Told me to make it look "exactly like the picture." Well, what she didn't know is that we had to make certain things work in the picture and that affected the final outcome. So I did her cake, and her friend was LIVID because I did a few minor things differently (having learned from prior mistakes.) And the funny thing was -- it was minor detail work, not the overall shoe cake!! Sheesh!!! icon_rolleyes.gif

kelleym Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 3:57pm
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue



I admit - i am a very Black and White person.
Do or don't do....... I find it makes for a less stressful uncluttered life.

The bride and groom to be i spoKe of above - they were returning customers.
I made the ladies 21st B/D cake - their engagement cake - and she has actually contacted me (albeit 3 months after the original consult) with another idea.
Which i am more than willing to help her design.

Just because i have have said no to certain designs of cakes doesn't mean i am going to loose an order completely.




So, you didn't "loose" the order when this happened?

Quote:
Quote:

I just sat there looking at the Bride and Groom to be and said -
"your joking - i am not putting my name to that".
End of consultation.




That's just not how I treat my customers. But we all have to do what works best for us and our business. A black and white life just isn't for me. icon_biggrin.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 8:40pm
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panel7124

Client e-mailed photos of cake that she found on-line. Wants exactly the same for her daughter's birthday party. It's a simple two-tiered white-violet color scheme cake with teddybears and flowers. I tried to convince her to make another design in the same color scheme, but won't listen. There is surely the issue of copyright - what would you do? I tried to find related topics in forum but the posts are probably cancelled (error - not found).




I don't understand why you tried to change her mind in the first place icon_confused.gif
It's not an issue of copywrite and unless you left something out of the description (like little tiny penises or something all over it) don't see that there's anything offensive about it. Is the cake above your skill level?

Clients are going to bring you pictures of cakes they like all the time. I don't have any problem telling a client that I will do the best job I can but it will NOT look exactly like the original picture. You can make suggestions for change but if that's the cake they want then I see nothing wrong with making the cake she likes.

Or of course you can always decline the order.

Ashleyssweetdesigns Posted 30 Aug 2011 , 9:03pm
post #14 of 17

I tried to replicate a cake once for a woman that brought me a photo of a cake she wanted for her daughters sweet 16 party. I told her upfront I will do my best to make the cake as similar as possible and she understood. It was a whole different story when I delivered the cake. She didnt like the cake. Im not sure if ill ever do that again!

Annabakescakes Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 4:54am
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

.......... Bride and Groom requested a 3 tier cake - Pink flowers everywhere and THEN.....wait for it...
Red Foorballs tumbling down from the top tier to the edge of the cake board.......as tho it were a swag of material.

................


Bluehue.




Did you mean footballs? I don't know if a foorball is an Aussie thing, or a typo! And if it was football, is that the balls we call soccer or the other one the is like an oval? But either sounds stupid!

Panel7124 Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 8:16am
post #16 of 17

Allora: kelleym, bakerliz and Tacy09 thanks for answering my question and Ashleyssweetdesigns, Annabakescakes, and bobwonderbun for sharing your experience. (BTW: I've never had a zebra stripes cake request, it's not in fashion here, I would like to make one - not sure about pink ribbon... maybe something more original). Other posts: also a simple Yes/No answer would be enough to me. The reason why I asked:
1. to know what to do in case there is anything with copyright on the cake (copywrite is a completely different thing)
2. the cake on the photo was of a 'rival' baker and as I live in a small town, I didn't want to be asked later why I 'copy' her designs in case somebody sees the cake and tells her (you never know, people always talk - sometimes too much).

Personally really do not like to copy exactly somebody else's designs or cartoon characters and find it boring. But I have Friday free, some fondant teddy bears and flowers in different colors made in advance just in case of emergency (happened twice last week) and the cake was really easy to make - as I said in my post - SIMPLE, it logically means it was not above my skill level. Sadly no little tiny penises as the cake was for a 1yr old girl. Why tried to change her mind? For all reasons I mentioned above and the cake was a bit plain, could be done much better AND the first thing I told her was that the cake will never be exactly the same as in the photo. By the way she seemed to me as a real troublemaker - sometimes you get this gut feeling (maybe not everybody) and I was a bit worried that even if I do the cake as requested, she will always pick up on something. I agree not to make cakes that are or above you skill level (bakerliz I'm with you - BC issueicon_redface.gif), not suitable for event or weather conditions or ones for which do not have the necessary ingredients or materials and know I can't get them in time. For the rest I'm ok - boring or not boring, not everybody is a famous designer-baker and we have to earn our money. Regarding the untasteful, disgusting or horrible designs - I may not agree on design but if the cake is done really well using all techniques professionally and is clean, you tried to change their mind or at least tried to change some details to look it 'less unstasteful' and you didn't succeed, than it's client's problem, not mine. Black and white reality may exist, but usually only in old films, the real world is full of colors, they are beautiful and I'm happy they exist.

Bluehue Posted 31 Aug 2011 , 11:50am
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

.......... Bride and Groom requested a 3 tier cake - Pink flowers everywhere and THEN.....wait for it...
Red Foorballs tumbling down from the top tier to the edge of the cake board.......as tho it were a swag of material.

................


Bluehue.



Did you mean footballs? I don't know if a foorball is an Aussie thing, or a typo! And if it was football, is that the balls we call soccer or the other one the is like an oval? But either sounds stupid!




Sorry - it was a typo - yes i did mean an Australian shaped fooTball.
The oval one.

About 50 - 60 1 inch RED footballs in total, coming down fom the top of the white cake - amongst pastel pink flowers.

The groom thought - seeing as his bride to be was getting *her* coloured decorated cake - he would add *his* theme to it also..

The bride has booked to see me in 3 weeks to discuss another design - after i said no, i am not putting my name to the original idea of his.
Apparently the MOB is not happy with the grooms design - and refuses to pay for such a cake........................................REALLY?


Bluehue

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