jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 5:27pm
post #1 of

FYI, a new bipartisan bill is working its way through both the House and the Senate that would allow copyright owners to block an entire web site if it hosts or facilitates content that infringes copyright.

If this bill is signed into law, it means all of Cake Central could potentially be blocked (for users in the US anyway) if someone posts a cake with a copyrighted character, and web sites for bakery businesses could suffer the same fate if copyrighted images are posted.

See the link below for more info about the bill and what you can do to stop it.

http://lifehacker.com/5860205/all-about-sopa-the-bill-thats-going-to-cripple-your-internet

36 replies
CalhounsCakery Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 6:13pm
post #2 of

Ouch, that would suck. I understand why they are doing it. But wow! I guess if it passes, there is going to be a major clean up of the albums...

Rachel5370 Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 6:43pm
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It will also make it where we can't post music videos, links or really anything on FB anymore. I understand if it's something someone is making money from, but this will affect non-commercial uses as well. This is yet another infringement on our lives that the government is trying to make.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 7:10pm
post #4 of

To be fair, many non-commercial uses of copyrighted material without permission are already illegal (there are a few exceptions such as parody and education). Many oppose the bill because the remedy -- blocking the entire site -- is draconian, when there is already a process (DMCA takedown) that will remove only the offending content.

The language of the bill is also vague enough that even discussing copyright infringement on a site's forum could trigger the entire site to be blocked.

carolinagirlcakes Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 7:40pm
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I get that companies want to protect what is copyrighted as they own the right to it. But how are we as cake decorators suppose to get permission when it is like crossing a sea infested with sharks. There are so many hoops to jump through and even then it is a very slim chance you will get permission.

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea? I know as cake designers we should be able to steer our clients away from infringment cakes but you know how some can be, persistent! Sometimes I just don't see how to get around it.

Not trying to cause issues I just really want to do everything right and within the laws but still keep clients happy!

Any thoughts and/or advice, thanks!

jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 7:49pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea?



When customers request a design with a copyrighted character, we explain that the customer needs to get permission from the copyright owner before we can make the cake. The alternative plan (which is what usually happens) is to purchase licensed cake toppers and incorporate them into a more generic design that matches the color theme of the original request.

carolinagirlcakes Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 8:20pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea?


When customers request a design with a copyrighted character, we explain that the customer needs to get permission from the copyright owner before we can make the cake. The alternative plan (which is what usually happens) is to purchase licensed cake toppers and incorporate them into a more generic design that matches the color theme of the original request.




Thanks! I looks like that is what I will be doing from now on icon_smile.gif

If I purchase little toys I can use them on a cake right, without breaking infringment laws?

jason_kraft Posted 17 Nov 2011 , 8:36pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If I purchase little toys I can use them on a cake right, without breaking infringment laws?



As long as the toys are officially licensed, copyright law allows you to resell them without permission either on their own or as part of another product (like a cake).

Rachel5370 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 4:55am
post #9 of

I make a "background" for the toys which are usually purchased by the customer. I refuse to do licensed characters, and I have always managed to make the customer something they like. And yes, I have a "Hello Kitty" cake in my pics, that was for a close friend who I didn't charge. And yes I realize I could still get in trouble for it. It was a compromise I didn't feel entirely comfortable making, but I thought it utrned out cute, so I posted it here. I should probably take it down.

scp1127 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 5:16am

I inform the customer that they are also infringing on a trademark and they can be sued. All it takes is for Grandma to post a picture of that cute little cake on her facebook page and a year later the letter comes. This usually stops them from even wanting the cake without the proper licensed figures or the approved cake.

I copied the grocery store cake for my Harry Potter cake. I bought the figure and copied exactly as was specified using my artisan cakes and Italian meringue buttercream. This weekend I am making a trio of "Cars" cakes. They will be my cakes with IMBC, but on each I will have a road and the purchased toys will be on top. Customers don't want that letter and fine in the mail. We have the ability to educate them. I'm all for the protection of copyrights and trademarks.

scp1127 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 5:48am

What is wrong with enforcing a law that is vital, even critical, to our economic system.

Obviously a portion of the public has no respect for the law and since the internet is interstate, they are the ones to make and enforce federal law. Since the internet has become such prominent part of our lives, the violations are not just local. They have become national and worldwide.

I think we should be more outraged over the theft of legally protected property than the enforcement of a very important set of laws.

KSMill Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 7:38am

There's nothing wrong with enforcing the laws and protecting copyrighted material. The problem is there are already laws. Another law won't make any difference if it's not enforced. Why not just enforce the existing laws instead of spending time and taxpayer money writing a cumbersome new law.

scp1127 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 7:44am

The internet is the reason for the need for the laws. Things such as copyright and trademark infringement become far-reaching because of the web.

Rachel5370 Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 9:53am

Ha, let this new one pass and you will be singing a different tune. We have laws that are sufficient, just not enforced enough as the above poster said. We don't need more laws, we need more morality and integrity- laws are no substitute for that. People without integrity don't care about the law. The government loves to tell us what is best for us and violates the constitution all the time- in the name of "the common good".

Did you hear about the legislators trying to declare that pizza is a vegetable? There are actual pizza lobbyists that want to be able to serve more pizza in public schools. These are the kind of people we should trust?

costumeczar Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 6:28pm

I'm on the fence about this law because I think that it's a good idea, but that as it's written now it's gone too far. Even one of the original authors of hte bill is now saying that he's not sure about the scope of the bill.

I had several bakers take entire PAGES of text off of my website and use them on theirs. I filed DMCA complaints, and most of them were taken down, but one ISP refused to do anything, claiming that "they weren't responsible since we didn't design that site." I assume that this was some ISP operating out of a basement somewhere since they didn't seem to know what a DMCA complaint was. I ended up filing a complaint with google because the person had google ads on her site, and I was able to get google to ban the site from their search results.

People are often very slooooow to respond when you email them asking for compliance , so the threat of having the entire site blocked might prevent them from copyright violations to begin with. But on the other hand, the way the law is written now, youtube could be blocked entirely if people continue to upload copyrighted content, even if youtube isn't reponsible for uploading it.

It might get them to actually make an effort to police that, though, which I'm in favor of.

Posting a link to a site wouldn't get your site taken down, but if you take content from someone else's site and put it on yours it might. But if you didn't have permission to do that then you're a copyright violator, too, so tough cookies.

usmdesigner Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 10:01pm

So at what point do you know someone has violated a copyright?

For example, someone stated something about a mickey mouse cake.

What about mickey mouse is copyrighted?

Can a set of ears not be used in the world ever again? If I put a fondant apple on my cake, will the apple corp come get me?

It seems there has to be a more specific criteria to break a copyright law. Like making mickey mouse's actually face, or making a laptop with an apple on it.

costumeczar Posted 18 Nov 2011 , 11:23pm

I don't doubt that the mouse ears are copyrighted. The apple logo is copyrighted, but an apple isn't. A laptop with a banana on it would be okay.

If you can look at something and see that it's meant to be a character or a logo then that's probably violaitng the copyright. If you try to get around it by making Mickey Mouse blue, that isn't going to work if he's still recognizable.

Baker_Rose Posted 25 Nov 2011 , 1:30pm

The sad thing about the vagueness of the law is that you could be listing your favorite recipe on a forum such as this and list crisco in your ingredients and that is a copyright infringement since the name "crisco" is copyrighted.

The same with Kleenex, Splenda, Hershey's cocoa etc. We see them as everyday words, but someone owns them and would the whole site be blocked just because I'm saying to use crisco in my buttercream recipe??

Tami icon_confused.gif

.............Draconian, I love that word.

howboutbake Posted 25 Nov 2011 , 7:53pm

I don't know a whole lot about copyright, but how is this law going to stop copyright infringement?

Last I checked, a whole bunch of copyright infringement is coming from websites based in other countries. Would this law be able to touch them?

For example....I live in Canada, which some have called the 'home sweet home' of infringement. Soo...if I post a copyrighted image on my website....would this mean that it would not be visible in the United States? The world?

Another question: Would the bottom photo constitute infringement? It certainly looks nothing like the CM icon_biggrin.gif

http://pinterest.com/pin/516881772/

scp1127 Posted 25 Nov 2011 , 11:02pm

I knew it was CM as soon as it popped up, so yes, infringement.

Price Posted 25 Nov 2011 , 11:51pm

So, if I make a Mickey cake pop is it a copyright infringement? Check this website. All kinds of Disney crafts, recipes, etc.

http://family.go.com/food/recipe-866615-disney-bakerella-mickey-mouse-cake-pops-t/

costumeczar Posted 26 Nov 2011 , 12:15am

It looks like that website is owned by Disney, so they can put whatever they want on it. If you make them and sell them then yes, it's an infringement.

ConniM1 Posted 26 Nov 2011 , 3:40am

They sell the Mickey Mouse Cake Pans and Cookie Monster and so many others, so how do they expect people NOT to make them? If that's the case why make Cake Pans and Cupcake Pans of those copyright Characters? Doesn't make any sense. As far as the other products like Crisco and Splenda etc., that's just promotional so they love it that their product is in your recipe so everyone buys it.

scp1127 Posted 26 Nov 2011 , 4:10am

Read the pan. It clearly states for home/personal use only. You have paid the royalties when you bought the pan, but not for any other use than personal, and definitely not for sale.

We have all seen the copyright and trademark symbols our whole lives. We learned about plagarism in high school. We sited sources in research papers and science projects for a reason.

It's about time that a handle is gotten on the rampant infringements on the internet. But fortunately, the violators provide all of the evidence needed for prosecution by their own hand. The cases are clear cut.

Infringement does not only occur when there is a monetary transaction. It occurs when there is no money involved also, and both the creator and the recipient are liable.

SweetcakesCT Posted 26 Nov 2011 , 4:51am

There is a different between copyright infringement and the use of terms like kleenex or crisco, which have more or less become synonymous with the items they describe.

Resia Posted 27 Nov 2011 , 5:59pm

I do not see how this could pass and not end up shutting down most Facebook, MySpace and YouTube user content. Granted spaces like YouTube do have have its content shut down all the time by copyright owners, but to block the entire site. That seems far too extreme.

scp1127 Posted 27 Nov 2011 , 8:35pm

We all need to watch our sites and make sure they don't violate the law. You can't just say, "Oh well, it's too hard". The bigger the site, usually the bigger the revenue, so they must put in checkpoints. On my site I must review content before it publishes. These other sites will have to do the same thing.

dchockeyguy Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 11:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetcakesCT

There is a different between copyright infringement and the use of terms like kleenex or crisco, which have more or less become synonymous with the items they describe.




Failure to prosecute has caused this. Xerox did not push prosecuting the use of their name for copying, so that's why you can say you want something Xeroxed and it's not an infringement. Had the pushed harder, it might not have happened. Cases like this are why Disney and other companies are so tight with the control of their images.

scp1127 Posted 29 Nov 2011 , 1:55am

Web companies already have the means to stop infringement on their sites. A long time ago when music downloads first started, we paid for music from a site that evidently didn't pay the artist.

Over a two week period, we got four notices of infringement by four artists. The letter came from Comcast, our internet provider. The letter stated that further infringement would result in prosecution by the artists and a permanent ban from Comcast internet service to our home. From that day forward, all of our paid music comes from iTunes.

If Comcast can do it, any internet company can put the practice in place.

scp1127 Posted 29 Nov 2011 , 3:10am

http://news.yahoo.com/feds-seize-150-websites-counterfeit-crackdown-162434745.html

An article that hit the news today on the Feds cracking down on infringements.

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