Copyright Questions

Business By Vengeance Updated 10 Feb 2012 , 8:51pm by scp1127

Vengeance Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:18pm
post #1 of 6

Hey everyone, I hope someone can help me out with a couple copyright questions. I've been reading around on the issue of using copyrighted characters for cake design, and I feel like the bottom like is JUST DON'T DO IT (without toppers or some such, that the client must pay for). But I had a couple questions.

1). Last year, one of my instructors had hinted at the idea that something might be changing within copyright law in the next months/year that would loosen the strictures of using copyrighted characters for baking. Does anyone have any idea what she might have been referring to?

2). I have heard a few people on this network say that they have obtained licenses for specific characters(Looney Tunes), and was wondering if anyone had done this? How would I go about finding/obtaining a license for a particular theme? If you purchase a license, is it a one time use, or can you use it multiple times? Is the cost of licenses usually prohibitive?

Thanks so much for any and all help!

5 replies
jason_kraft Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 8:55pm
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vengeance

1). Last year, one of my instructors had hinted at the idea that something might be changing within copyright law in the next months/year that would loosen the strictures of using copyrighted characters for baking. Does anyone have any idea what she might have been referring to?



She was referring to her own wishful thinking, as long as Disney is solvent strict copyright law will be on the books and extended as often as necessary to keep Mickey Mouse out of the public domain. In the future this will only become a more complicated issue as 3D printers start becoming mainstream and it becomes easier to duplicate objects.

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2). I have heard a few people on this network say that they have obtained licenses for specific characters(Looney Tunes), and was wondering if anyone had done this? How would I go about finding/obtaining a license for a particular theme? If you purchase a license, is it a one time use, or can you use it multiple times? Is the cost of licenses usually prohibitive?



First you have to find out who the copyright owner is then contact them and request permission. Some copyright owners will flat out deny your request, some will ask for money, and some will grant permission for free.

A google search for the character/theme name and "copyright owner" will usually point you in the right direction, for example contact info for Warner Bros (owner of Looney Tunes) is here: http://www.looneytunes.kidswb.com/terms

costumeczar Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 10:01pm
post #3 of 6

hahaha! I was going to say the same thing about her wishful thinking and copyright, but the way I'd put it would be "the voices in her head probably told her that."

I've gotten licenses directly from some pro sports teams and colleges, but I doubt that you'd be able to get licenses from the big cartoon companies without using the Decopacs kind of thing. It would probably be cost-prohibitive. And forget about Disney...

I have had clients get permission from companies like Nike, and I got permission from Jack Daniels once, so it's possible to do it. You need to cal the individual legal departments and ask what they require for it.

Vengeance Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 10:21pm
post #4 of 6

Very good information, thank you both for the answers. Yeah, I was afraid she was just blowing smoke with how vague she was being about it. icon_razz.gif

Vengeance Posted 9 Feb 2012 , 10:24pm
post #5 of 6

Very good information, thank you both for the answers. Yeah, I was afraid she was just blowing smoke with how vague she was being about it. icon_razz.gif

scp1127 Posted 10 Feb 2012 , 8:51pm
post #6 of 6

This subject is currently in the news because of all of the pirating and FBI stings on the big infringers. One of the recent articles this week noted that the bigger companies now have a full staff just to peruse the internet for infringements.

If anything, the companies are stepping up their resources to put a stop to even the smaller scale infringers.

I am working right now to obtain the right to use a product name as an ingredient in one of my products. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I wouldn't attempt to proceed without written permission.

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