Why Am I Worrying About Copyright Laws...?

Business By Amberwaves Updated 29 Jan 2015 , 1:46am by tdovewings

Srkstrickland Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 2:20pm
post #31 of 140

AOh ok. This really sucks though, lol. Although I do understand where they're coming from.

Original message sent by jason_kraft

A good of rule of thumb is that if an average person who looks at the cake will think "hey, that's (character name)", you are probably infringing.

ChrystysCreations Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 5:37pm
post #32 of 140

AActually, this happened to me not to long ago. I make great pieces of art with fondant. I was asked to make "Angry Birds" pieces for a cake to use as toppers. So, I made them all out of fondant, from scratch. They resembled them closely, but not down to the detail. I posted the piers for the client to purchase through Etsy, and in less than 24hrs, I was any an email from Etsy that had a letter attached stating that the creators of "Angry Birds" had contacted Etsy due to copyright infringement and my listing was deleted.

I was amazed that after I had put all that effort into making the pieces, and the looked like the ignites but not completely, that I was still in violation.

I find it hard to swallow, that people can take an image of something and change the color and flip the image and it is not in violation, even though you clearly know its from somewhere else. I was told that by making changes to original work to make it look different and it was acceptable, but making "handmade" designs of known characters isn't.

If this were the case, then people's art ability of making custom character cakes, to me will not be appreciated as much, by buying a plastic character topper.

Jut saying...

Srkstrickland Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 5:45pm
post #33 of 140

AI agree

Original message sent by ChrystysCreations

Actually, this happened to me not to long ago. I make great pieces of art with fondant. I was asked to make "Angry Birds" pieces for a cake to use as toppers. So, I made them all out of fondant, from scratch. They resembled them closely, but not down to the detail. I posted the piers for the client to purchase through Etsy, and in less than 24hrs, I was any an email from Etsy that had a letter attached stating that the creators of "Angry Birds" had contacted Etsy due to copyright infringement and my listing was deleted. I was amazed that after I had put all that effort into making the pieces, and the looked like the ignites but not completely, that I was still in violation. I find it hard to swallow, that people can take an image of something and change the color and flip the image and it is not in violation, even though you clearly know its from somewhere else. I was told that by making changes to original work to make it look different and it was acceptable, but making "handmade" designs of known characters isn't. If this were the case, then people's art ability of making custom character cakes, to me will not be appreciated as much, by buying a plastic character topper. Jut saying...

mydearbakes Posted 8 Dec 2012 , 7:46am
post #34 of 140

I guess it's best not to go against the Law. That said, that let that hamper your creativity! There are alot of wonderful bakes and they don''t require you to put a [insert well known character] topper on your bake to make it beautiful! 

passion4baking Posted 7 Aug 2013 , 10:17pm
post #35 of 140

What if you buy characters and put them on the cake, is that still illegal?

or would you tell the customer to buy it themselves and you would put the characters on top?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 7 Aug 2013 , 10:28pm
post #36 of 140

A

Original message sent by passion4baking

would you tell the customer to buy it themselves and you would put the characters on top?

passion4baking Posted 7 Aug 2013 , 10:32pm
post #37 of 140

Got it icon_wink.gif

BatterUpCake Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 12:18am
post #38 of 140

Bakers can certainly use decopacs or licensed figures on their cakes.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 2:04am
post #39 of 140

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Any time you copy someone else's original work without their permission, you are infringing on their copyright (with a few exceptions for fair use like education and parody). Of course if you are making an infringing cake for your close family and friends, and no one posts any pictures of the cake online your chance of getting caught is virtually nil.

My question is, why does the Disney website have step by step instructions to make character cakes, cupcakes, and other snacks? If they didn't want to allow a mom to make a Mickey ears cake for her child, why would they post the instructions? (I am NOT referring to selling a cake, just family cakes, no selling involved.) It seems that they are giving permission, at least for those particular designs. Also, they don't have anything listed saying you cannot post your finished cake, using their instructions, in your Facebook page. I think stuff like that confuses people greatly.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:59am
post #40 of 140

A

Original message sent by SecretAgentCakeBaker

My question is, why does the Disney website have step by step instructions to make character cakes, cupcakes, and other snacks? If they didn't want to allow a mom to make a Mickey ears cake for her child, why would they post the instructions? (I am NOT referring to selling a cake, just family cakes, no selling involved.) It seems that they are giving permission, at least for those particular designs. Also, they don't have anything listed saying you cannot post your finished cake, using their instructions, in your Facebook page. I think stuff like that confuses people greatly.

My guess would be that the people at Disney responsible for posting those instructions did not necessarily get clearance from the Disney legal department, otherwise there would probably be a legal notice relating to the tutorials similar to the one for submissions for contests hosted by Disney web sites:

"To the extent that we solicit Submissions through features or activities on or through WDIG Sites (including games, sweepstakes, contests, promotions and Public Forums (defined below in Section 6, labeled "PUBLIC FORUMS AND COMMUNICATION")) that require the use of our copyrighted works (in whole or in part), we hereby grant you a non-exclusive license to create a derivative work using our copyrighted works (in whole or in part) as required (but only as required, and only for the purpose of creating your Submissions); provided however, that such license shall be conditioned upon your assignment of all rights in the work you create to us. If such rights are not assigned to us, your license to create derivative works using our copyrighted works (in whole or in part) shall be null and void. You agree to the foregoing grant of rights, consents, agreements and assignments whether or not your Submissions are used by us. "

http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/terms.html

IMO if you are following a tutorial on Disney's web site to create something for personal use using their characters, the risk involved is extremely low.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 12:41pm
post #41 of 140

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

Bakers can certainly use decopacs or licensed figures on their cakes.

Yes. They can purchase decopacs but must use them within very specific guidelines.

No, unless they have a license to resale, it is unlawful to use purchased licensed characters. Also, some of the places that sell them (like Etsy) do not have permission to create them. I'm thinking specifically of cupcake toppers made on some crafty persons edible image printer.

BatterUpCake Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 2:25pm
post #42 of 140

I was thinking along the lines of bakeries using them. I know some of them have to be used only with specific designs, but are you saying they (bakeries, grocers) have to have a license to put them on their cake even though they purchased them?

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 4:41pm
post #43 of 140

A

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

No, unless they have a license to resale, it is unlawful to use purchased licensed characters. Also, some of the places that sell them (like Etsy) do not have permission to create them. I'm thinking specifically of cupcake toppers made on some crafty persons edible image printer.

The First Sale Doctrine allows you to purchase a licensed character product and resell it without permission. If the product is unlicensed (e.g. someone just made it out of gumpaste and sold it on Etsy) then it is infringement.

ellavanilla Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 7:59pm
post #44 of 140

Going back to OP I have to say, I have always wondered the same thing. There are so many "famous" decorators out there with cartoon character cakes and commercial product cakes in their portfolios, I have to wonder why a customer would even believe you if you say that you won't infringe on copyright/trademark. 

 

and I don't think any of them are getting permission from the rights holder, either. It is frustrating and I think it comes back to a personal decision about what you're willing to risk. I'm sure an argument could be made that by letting "so and so famous baker" infringe that precedent has been set, but there is also the argument that no trademark holder is able to police the entire world of infringement either. 

 

anyway, i understand where OP is coming from and I personally wouldn't make myself sick over a character cake--if I could execute it well and with a little flair--and that's a big "IF" IMO.  icon_biggrin.gif

 

jen

BatterUpCake Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 8:12pm
post #45 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


The First Sale Doctrine allows you to purchase a licensed character product and resell it without permission. If the product is unlicensed (e.g. someone just made it out of gumpaste and sold it on Etsy) then it is infringement.

I'm glad to hear that! I'm doing a Tink cake right now...........whew....I read all kinds of stuff on it. But it seems there is so much conflicting info. I did read case law about First Sale Doctrine

Phaedramax Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 9:18pm
post #46 of 140

Some Company's pay for the use of copyrighted material.Therefore they can sell you the edible lay ones ect. Shape pans are for personal use and you can do copyrighted things if you are not selling them. Otherwise you can do things like Mickey's ears ect. or plastic on top of cakes.That's my understanding.
 

BatterUpCake Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 9:24pm
post #47 of 140

I purchased a Disney Tinkerbell candle cake topper

kblickster Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 10:07pm
post #48 of 140

Just saw Krazy Kool Cakes advertising a Mickey Cake class.   So I am assuming that a cake like this is OK to recreate. 

 

 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=555199977872873&set=a.182417265151148.46403.174592105933664&type=1&theater

jason_kraft Posted 8 Aug 2013 , 10:17pm
post #49 of 140

A

Original message sent by kblickster

Just saw Krazy Kool Cakes advertising a Mickey Cake class.   So I am assuming that a cake like this is OK to recreate. 

 [URL=https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=555199977872873&set=a.182417265151148.46403.174592105933664&type=1&theater]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=555199977872873&set=a.182417265151148.46403.174592105933664&type=1&theater[/URL]

Considering this class is not sponsored, hosted, or sanctioned by Disney in any way, the safest assumption is that it is most definitely NOT OK to recreate.

TheSugarLab Posted 15 Aug 2013 , 5:09am
post #50 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblickster 

Just saw Krazy Kool Cakes advertising a Mickey Cake class.   So I am assuming that a cake like this is OK to recreate. 

 

 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=555199977872873&set=a.182417265151148.46403.174592105933664&type=1&theater

I really want to know what is "new and innovative" about the Mickey cake! 

 

Like everyone else, I do get bummed out when I see famous bakers with copyrighted cakes. I get even more frustrated when I see CC promoting various themed cakes (like top Pixar Cakes) that are clearly made by professionals and not just hobbyists doing it for no money. But you just have to stick to your principals and decide what is worth it for you. To me, making a Mickey cake like Krazy Kool Cakes isn't worth it nor is it that creative. 

Ickle Bites Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 10:38am
post #51 of 140

hi i am new to here so please send me packing if this has been answered already. i understand it is breaking copyright laws to sell the characters on he cake. but how do we stand if we sell the cake (with just colouring matching) but give the characters on the cake as a gift? is this still breaking the copyright?

 

again i apologise if this has been answered already.

TIA

jason_kraft Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 3:43pm
post #52 of 140

A

Original message sent by Ickle Bites

i understand it is breaking copyright laws to sell the characters on he cake. but how do we stand if we sell the cake (with just colouring matching) but give the characters on the cake as a gift? is this still breaking the copyright?

This is still infringement if you created copies of the characters yourself without permission. Trying to be creative to circumvent the law can make things worse since it shows you were aware of the law and actively tried to get around it.

If you buy licensed characters you can legally include them on the cake or resell them without permission.

Ickle Bites Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 3:51pm
post #53 of 140

A:) yer I was on about buying the characters. Say for example if I brought a Disney princess and put it on a cake but didn't charge the customer extra for the figure. So it came free with the cake.

I understand charging the customer extra for figures is against the law as I am making money on it. But wasn't sure about giving them away. Thank you for your response. I will not recreate characters either.

jason_kraft Posted 7 Jan 2014 , 3:54pm
post #54 of 140

A

Original message sent by Ickle Bites

:) yer I was on about buying the characters. Say for example if I brought a Disney princess and put it on a cake but didn't charge the customer extra for the figure. So it came free with the cake.

If it is a licensed figure you can charge the customer without any problems...it would be no different than buying the figure by itself and selling it someone else.

Tessie2135 Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 10:55pm
post #55 of 140

I think I know the answer to this question, but; I know you cannot put trademark/liscensed characters on a cake without permission.  Is there anyway bakers can get permission or do companies typically ignore or decline such requests?  I'm sure at some point someone has asked, but I'm guessing if the baker is able to speak to anyone at all, they may be directed to the array of plastic products they can buy.

kikiandkyle Posted 10 Jan 2014 , 12:47am
post #56 of 140

Yes, just contact the owner of the trademark, you can usually find their contact info on their website. Usually it is the legal department that you need to speak to.

 

People contact them all the time to ask, with some success. It never hurts to ask.

heartsnsync Posted 10 Jan 2014 , 2:14am
post #57 of 140

You can certainly try to get permission but with my experience, you are generally ignored or they take months to get back to you only after you have emailed, certified mailed, and faxed your request sometimes even several times. You also have to make sure you are contacting the right department or you never hear back from them. Then, many times they say no.  I have stopped trying to get permission for many things and just tell the customer they will have to abide by the law and have purchased licensed merchandise added to the cake or attempt to get the permission themselves by a certain date. 

 

The only time I still actively pursue permission is with sports themed collegiate cakes. I always seem to have success with getting permission for those.  HTH

OralSensations Posted 10 Jan 2014 , 2:44am
post #58 of 140

Can you tell me what Department you have talked to and if you have emailed, certified letter, or exactly how you got ahold of them please? I would love to go ahead and start getting permission from the sports teams. 

cakelove2105 Posted 10 Jan 2014 , 2:56am
post #59 of 140

Even thought all you guys say make sense, when I started to bake, I never thought they had copyright rules for bakers to follow.  

 

I don't mean to hijack the thread but I'm curious, do these copyright rule apply to scratch bakers or just for businesses? and if so, how that works? It might be a silly question but bare with me, I'm a newbie :P

kikiandkyle Posted 10 Jan 2014 , 3:05am
post #60 of 140

You can't sell an unlicensed recreation of a character, that is what matters. Not a business, not a person on the corner, nobody. 

 

Some of what you see online has been created for personal use, some has been done with permission, some people just either don't know or don't care. 

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