So I was asked to do a "Toy Story" cake for a 2 year old. I tell the Grandma that I can't recreate Toy Story because it is copyright protected...so we settle on a cake that she will add figures to after she picks it up. Then I come on here to look for ideas and find almost 2500 Toy Story cakes that CLEARLY violate the copyright law as I understand it. Frustrating!
I realize a few of the cakes were for friends, family, etc. and not sold but not the vast majority. I have a licensed home bakery and want to do things the right way. So how do we answer those parents that call and say "I want a ___ (copyright protected) cake. I found some ideas online and wondered if you can do something similar?"
I haven't researched the law yet myself, but I believe that as long as you do purchase some sort of character or topper and add to your cake, you have 'done the deed.' I would think that you can create a cake with a fondant woody or buzz, or in the shape of the spaceship- and as long as you went out and spent money on a topper and add to your cake, you are in the clear, right? I thought the point of the law was so that disney and other companies are not losing money- and are still selling their products..... I may be way off here, but in my head that made sense- I'd love to see what everyone else has to say about this.
I haven't researched the law yet myself, but I believe that as long as you do purchase some sort of character or topper and add to your cake, you have 'done the deed.' I would think that you can create a cake with a fondant woody or buzz, or in the shape of the spaceship- and as long as you went out and spent money on a topper and add to your cake, you are in the clear, right?
That's not how it works...copyright infringement is still copyright infringement, even if other components of the product are licensed. If you are reproducing multiple instances of original art created by someone else, you need permission for each one. If different characters are involved this may involve contacting more than one company.
We push this responsibility to the customer and ask them to provide written permission from the copyright owner of the requested image.
"If someone tells me that they've seen it online, "why can they do it and you can't", I respond that sooner or later they are going to be in trouble for doing what they are doing, and I'd rather avoid it.
I cite instances that have been cited on this site, such as the Louis Vuitton Cease and Desist letter, then tell my client that I hope those people stop doing what they are doing before they have to pay a huge fine.
Sure, most of them hang up with me and go call one of those people. But I'd rather lose their business than my business, if you know what I mean.
Someone got a cease and desist order from Louis Vuitton??
Yes...I read about it on here, I think. Can't remember who or exactly when it was. The person telling the story was telling it about someone else, if memory serves. Plus, I think there was a story on the news.
I remember the LV C&D thread but I wasn't able to find it, here are two other threads about bakers receiving C&Ds (one from Chanel, the other was undisclosed):