Things Not To Ask/say To A Baker!

Decorating By step0nmi Updated 11 Jan 2016 , 1:15am by Apti

FullHouse Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 7:41pm
post #1951 of 3199

I had an inquiry for a cake with copyrighted images.  I gave the same answer I always do, that it is illegal however I would be happy to come up with design options that incorporate the theme.  She argued that it is not illegal, that there are plenty of online photos from other bakers that do it.  I responded that they are either unaware of the law or chose not to follow it, but that my bakery has made the business decision to follow copyright laws and am sorry that we can't accommodate her cake as requested.  She responded saying that it is legal as long as you don't charge for the copyrighted figures.  At this point, she made it clear she will be going elsewhere anyway, so I won't be responding further :).  

costumeczar Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 11:44pm
post #1952 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

I had an inquiry for a cake with copyrighted images.  I gave the same answer I always do, that it is illegal however I would be happy to come up with design options that incorporate the theme.  She argued that it is not illegal, that there are plenty of online photos from other bakers that do it.  I responded that they are either unaware of the law or chose not to follow it, but that my bakery has made the business decision to follow copyright laws and am sorry that we can't accommodate her cake as requested.  She responded saying that it is legal as long as you don't charge for the copyrighted figures.  At this point, she made it clear she will be going elsewhere anyway, so I won't be responding further :).  

People really don't want to believe copyright laws exist if it makes their lives complicated, do they...

morganchampagne Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 12:21am
post #1953 of 3199

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

People really don't want to believe copyright laws exist if it makes their lives complicated, do they...

They really don't. God Forbid you have to buy a Mickey Mouse toy or whatever for your child's cake. No. I should risk my business to make this one cake that's against the law. Because OF COURSE, your event is the only thing I care about.

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 12:29am
post #1954 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne 


They really don't. God Forbid you have to buy a Mickey Mouse toy or whatever for your child's cake. No. I should risk my business to make this one cake that's against the law. Because OF COURSE, your event is the only thing I care about.

that really put it in perspective for me. it's not my issue, it's their issue. never thought about it that way. no need to feel bad about not doing character cakes.

Toodee Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:46am
post #1955 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

She responded saying that it is legal as long as you don't charge for the copyrighted figures.

 

So she expected you to make it for free did she?

morganchampagne Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:51am
post #1956 of 3199

A

Original message sent by kaylawaylalayla

that really put it in perspective for me. it's not my issue, it's their issue. never thought about it that way. no need to feel bad about not doing character cakes.

Yep. I've had to explain to many people my business is bigger than your cake! & I'm not going to open up myself to a lawsuit.

I say it nicer than that of course :)

daryll Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:57am
post #1957 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne 


They really don't. God Forbid you have to buy a Mickey Mouse toy or whatever for your child's cake. No. I should risk my business to make this one cake that's against the law. Because OF COURSE, your event is the only thing I care about.

 

^^^ LIKE!!

costumeczar Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:29am
post #1958 of 3199

I tell people this, pretty much verbatim: "I can't do any characters because that's a copyrighted character and you have to get permission from the copyright holder to do it. I'm sure you can find someone who doesn't mind breaking the law to make the cake, but I prefer to do things the right way, and it's illegal to do it."

Nadiaa Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:48am
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Out of sheer curiosity, has anyone ever contacted a company to ask permission to use a copyrighted image? Just wondering how long it would take to get a response and whether they actually do give permission. BTW, the cake in my avatar wasn't sold, it was made for my daughter's birthday. Does that make a difference?

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:45pm
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AYes I have contacted Nintendo ro make a character cake. They responded in about a week and half. Ill copy the email, but basically what they said is that we don't have the time or the resources to say yes, so we say no, but you could talk to your lawyer and see if its ok anyways. Which was when I pmed jason kraft because he is the closest thing I could get to a lawyer

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:46pm
post #1961 of 3199

AHello,   Thank you for writing, and for your patience in waiting for our reply in this busy time of year.  I appreciate your interest in Nintendo and all our video game products.  To us, it represents a great sign of success and recognition of the Nintendo brand.    We are grateful for all the requests we receive for permission to use Nintendo properties on cakes; however, we receive thousands of requests and do not have adequate staffing to review them all.  Therefore, our general policy is to decline all such requests, no exceptions.  I realize this isn’t what you wanted to hear and thank you for understanding.    Although we are unable to grant permission, use of Nintendo properties without our formal permission may still be allowed depending on the circumstances.  You are encouraged to seek your own legal counsel if you have any questions about whether your particular proposed use is permitted without Nintendo's authorization.  This is not a comment on whether we believe your particular proposed use is permissible—Nintendo cannot provide legal advice.   Sincerely,   Alex Schuster Nintendo of America Inc

kaylawaylalayla Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:47pm
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AI say they should take this opportunity to be a job creator and give people work. And maybe chargw a small fee to recreate the liscensed character to coverthe wage :p.

RitasDecliciousCreations Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 1:59pm
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This happened a couple of months ago:  I made a graduation cake for a lady for Saturday (she asked me on a Thursday evening).  I reiterarted the order via text message, and she confirmed.  Come Monday morning, she texts me to say that the cake was too sweet and that she did not want that type of filling.  I told her that she confirmed the order and she's had this exact same cake previously.  I apologized and told her that I can reimburse her the $50 (yes, I charged her dirt cheap for a cake for 30 people).  She didn't want any type refund or anything.  Then, next thing you know she's asking for a birthday cake for her nephew for the upcoming Saturday.  She wanted the cake for 60 people and free of charge (since I "messed" up her last order).  I told her if she wanted a free cake it would have to be for 30 servings and I would charge her for the additional 30 servings.  She said no!--never heard from her again.  The nerve.

FullHouse Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 2:17pm
post #1964 of 3199

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toodee 

 

So she expected you to make it for free did she?

Not sure, since I let the conversation die there, but her words  "I saw the law it is allowable to do so with cakes as long as you do not charge for the fondant characters".  I'm guessing she was trying to say I could charge her for the cake and not the figures on it, however that would either be giving away work for free (which is never going to happen) or playing with semantics and incorporating the cost of the figures into the cake, which could easily be proven was done just by seeing that it is over my base price.  Either way, not going to happen.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

I tell people this, pretty much verbatim: "I can't do any characters because that's a copyrighted character and you have to get permission from the copyright holder to do it. I'm sure you can find someone who doesn't mind breaking the law to make the cake, but I prefer to do things the right way, and it's illegal to do it."

 

 

That's pretty much what I do.  Never had an argument, 99% of the time I have people just tell me they had no idea and agree to purchase the figures for the cake.  Once in a while they just say they will get back to me and never do.  My initial response to this inquiry was:

 

Thank you for your inquiry.  We do have availability on the date requested.  As far as the theme, we can incorporate colors and background to match your theme, however it is illegal to reproduce copyrighted images (punishable by hefty fines), the characters you have requested fall under this law.  Please let me know if you would be interested in a design that includes details and background/colors to go with your theme.  If so, I will be happy to come up with design and pricing for you.

 

Her response to that was that she is confused by what I say is copyrighted as she sees hundreds of these type of cakes all over the internet and that she in fact sent me a photo of the cake she wants right off the internet.  

 

My reply was:

I can understand your surprise at finding this is illegal, considering so many bakers do replicate copyrighted images.  However, our business policyis to respect and follow copyright laws.  In some rare cases bakeries are able to obtain written permission from the copyright owner to duplicate the character.  In other cases the bakers are unaware of the laws or they simply chose to not follow them.  If you happen to be curious, a google search will give you some info and verify the law.  

 

Regardless, I'm sorry we couldn't accommodate your request.  Enjoy your event!

 

All the best,

 
At that point she replied that it was fine as long as I don't charge for the figures.  She had already said she will be looking elsewhere, so I didn't bother to reply.  There is really no point for me to enter into an argument with someone over the legalities of my business, I have an attorney who provides me with all legal advice I require.  
 
What I found interesting was that the wording of her emails seemed as if she were offended and taking it personally, I'm not sure I understand why - it's just a business decision, no criticism of anything personal.
 
**Sorry for all the different fonts, not sure why that is happening.
costumeczar Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:36pm
post #1965 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylawaylalayla 

Hello,
 
Thank you for writing, and for your patience in waiting for our reply in this busy time of year.  I appreciate your interest in Nintendo and all our video game products.  To us, it represents a great sign of success and recognition of the Nintendo brand.
  
We are grateful for all the requests we receive for permission to use Nintendo properties on cakes; however, we receive thousands of requests and do not have adequate staffing to review them all.  Therefore, our general policy is to decline all such requests, no exceptions.  I realize this isn’t what you wanted to hear and thank you for understanding.
  
Although we are unable to grant permission, use of Nintendo properties without our formal permission may still be allowed depending on the circumstances.  You are encouraged to seek your own legal counsel if you have any questions about whether your particular proposed use is permitted without Nintendo's authorization.  This is not a comment on whether we believe your particular proposed use is permissible—Nintendo cannot provide legal advice.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alex Schuster
Nintendo of America Inc

This doesn't say that you should get a lawyer to see if you can still get permission, it's impling that if you want to use their images you'd better have a lawyer ready in case!

 

I've contacted NFL teams, baseball teams, Nike, Nickelodeon, colleges, liquor companies (Jack Daniels, Captain Morgan, etc), and some cartoons that are on PBS. Some say yes, some say no, some have restrictions on how often per year you can use their logos, and most of them say that you CANNOT put pictures of the cakes that you make with their logos online or use them in advertsing at all. Disney is a huge NO regardless, they have a whole page on their site about how to get a license and it includes baked goods. I have a feeling that it's pretty pricey, and you have to apply and be approved, it isn't a one-time use thing. Nickelodeon also says a flat-out no. Angry birds told one of my friends to take things off of her Etsy shop, but they gave someone else I know permission to use the birds on a cake. Most colleges wil say okay if it's for an alum, but some of them have really restrictive rules about which logos you can use. For most companies you can go to their websites and look at the bottom for links to their public relations or legal pages to see where to write for permission. I keep a folder with letters of permission that they send me, and you DO want to get something in writing.

 

I have to say that in general, I've found that football teams are pretty easy to get permission from, baseball teams are jerks, and basketball tends to be hard to contact. Just my experience.

DebbyJG Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 5:01pm
post #1966 of 3199

AI received a one time right from Eric Carle corp to make the Brown Bear. They got back to me within about a week.

This issue is maddening for me, I just can't respect bakers who blatantly ignore the law and then get their panties in a twist about cake photo or design theft. There is at least one "big name" baker I follow on Facebook that does this.

But we are off topic again, aren't we?

I like cake too.

Nadiaa Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 9:02pm
post #1967 of 3199

Thankyou for your replies! It's much clearer to me now...sort of, lol! So I'll just say that I think I'll avoid any character cakes in future and just stick to making them beautiful without the use of licensed characters. 

 

Mmmm......cake.

shanter Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 9:41pm
post #1968 of 3199

You can use licenced characters if you buy a figurine(s) (legitimate, not made unlicensed in China or elsewhere) or Decopac to put on the cake. You could ask the client to provide the figurine if you don't want to shop for it/order it.

morganchampagne Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 10:48pm
post #1969 of 3199

A

Original message sent by shanter

You can use licenced characters if you buy a figurine(s) (legitimate, not made unlicensed in China or elsewhere) or Decopac to put on the cake. You could ask the client to provide the figurine if you don't want to shop for it/order it.

This is what I do. I order some of the more popular from Decopac. But more times than not I just tell the parent to buy a you or other topper. Honestly most of them don't push back.

Other bakers doing it makes it harder to explain. BUT that is life I suppose. [B]i suspect it's easier to say no to a parent than it is to fight Disney in a court of law [/B] . Think about the next time somebody tries it with you lol.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 10:48pm
post #1970 of 3199

And note that Decopac components are presumably (because they are made specifically for placement on cakes) food-safe, which may not necessarily be true of other figures, especially those intended as adult collectables, rather than as children's toys. Also note that Decopac licensed character kits do have guidelines for placement, that presumably should be followed as closely as the size and shape of the cake will permit.

 

But how did this thread even veer into that topic, when it has multiple threads of its own?!? I believe it's supposed to be about stupid, offensive, or chiseling (or more than one of the above) things people say to bakers.

as you wish Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 10:49pm
post #1971 of 3199

A

Original message sent by morganchampagne

This is what I do. I order some of the more popular from Decopac. But more times than not I just tell the parent to buy a you or other topper. Honestly most of them don't push back.

Other bakers doing it makes it harder to explain. BUT that is life I suppose. [B]i suspect it's easier to say no to a parent than it is to fight Disney in a court of law [/B] . Think about the next time somebody tries it with you lol.

That is an excellent point!

shanter Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:22pm
post #1972 of 3199

How about something a baker likes to hear:

Oooooooh, thank you, thank you, thank you Auntie. I love my birthday cake. You are the very best Auntie in the world.

 

I know. I'm still off topic.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:27pm
post #1973 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter 

How about something a baker likes to hear:

Oooooooh, thank you, thank you, thank you Auntie. I love my birthday cake. You are the very best Auntie in the world.

 

I know. I'm still off topic.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

Awww, so sweet! Those are what make it all worth it! :) 

BobbiR Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:40pm
post #1974 of 3199

my favorite question from a customer is "Do you take food stamps?" When i tell them no, i get a response of "HARPS Supermarket takes them!" 

cakeyouverymuch Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:41pm
post #1975 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter 

How about something a baker likes to hear:

Oooooooh, thank you, thank you, thank you Auntie. I love my birthday cake. You are the very best Auntie in the world.

 

I know. I'm still off topic.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

I got one of those this past weekend, and I expect to get another (only it will be thank you grandma) this coming weekend.  Love it when that happens!

kaylawaylalayla Posted 22 Aug 2013 , 12:19am
post #1976 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

This doesn't say that you should get a lawyer to see if you can still get permission, it's impling that if you want to use their images you'd better have a lawyer ready in case!

hhmmmmmmm

ellavanilla Posted 22 Aug 2013 , 7:57pm
post #1977 of 3199
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter 

How about something a baker likes to hear:

Oooooooh, thank you, thank you, thank you Auntie. I love my birthday cake. You are the very best Auntie in the world.

 

I know. I'm still off topic.

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

AS IT SHOULD BE!

 

LOL

 

I had one of those last weekend. I made my niece into a pink and purple superhero for her birthday cake. the filling was ice cream so we all looked at it for 10 seconds and then i had to cut it! but she loved it!

Evoir Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:42am
post #1978 of 3199

One in my inbox late this afternoon (a website enquiry notification):

 

Hello, I am just enquiring about your cakes, I just want to ask a few questions. Its my boyfriends birthday tomorrow and I was wondering do you have cakes already made in the shop for take away? Also what's the standard price for a chocolate cake? Thank you, xxxxxxx.

 

*sigh* To top it off, I then noticed the email address of the customer is a UK addy! If this person had spent longer than 0.05 seconds on my actual website (from where they'd sent this message ie using the guestbook), they would know that I do not have a shop front and that everything I do is CUSTOM MADE.

cazza1 Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:57am
post #1979 of 3199

Not to forget Evoir that it takes longer than overnight to post to the UK!

JujuSweetz Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 5:44pm
post #1980 of 3199

LOL! I gotten that question before. My answer is always the same: "I already cut down on the amount of sugar in the cake, so you will get a great balance of sweetness." When the give me their feedback after a few days, they agree with me. icon_biggrin.gif

We need to remember that many clients are expecting us bakers to please their every needs, so I've learned to meet them halfway without jeopardizing our product authenticity.

 

Gru

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