I did not have a clue about it until recently. How can you get that permission? Where?
AOnce you find out who owns the copyright for the character(s) in question, you just contact the copyright owner and request written permission via email or snail mail. Note that you must request permission each time unless you get a license from the copyright owner or permission that covers more than one use.
Original message sent by Dani1081
Jason, I wonder if this cake needed copyright permission? [URL=https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=10151336685263498&set=a.155837033497.114517.25440463497&type=1&theater]https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=10151336685263498&set=a.155837033497.1214517.25440463497&type=1&theater[/URL]
That's what kind of bugs people, seeing big names like you just linked to doing that. :(
Does it cost money to gain permission? Most cakes I make are for kids birthdays and have been character cakes. I am just finding out about this copyright/ permission snag. Any advice you can give is appreciated
some people opt to stop doing character cakes and copyrighted items
permission can be difficult/impossible to obtain but also can be granted in some cases too
(don't hold your breath on disney!)
and requesting permissions is not something that works seamlessly into your schedule either
for example--instead of doing a fedex plane--do a plane flying out of a brown shipping box
give the flavor of it rather than the exact object
like big red polka dots and bows but no minnie
typically you request through a company's legal department
some people say that if you purchase copyrighted decorations through a cake deco company or if you buy the toy independently that it is ok to use this to sell your cake
but that is also debatable
so it's an individual choice where the decorator draws their lines
AIf you buy a licensed cake topper or decopac you do not need permission, you only need permission if you create your own copy of a character (e.g. in BC or fondant).
Some companies will grant you unrestricted permission to reproduce their characters, some will grant one use only, some will make you pay a license fee, and some will not grant permission at all.
If a customer requests a copyrighted character, I require the customer to provide written permission from the copyright owner first. This way, the customer gets mad at the copyright owner instead of you if they refuse.
that's true and sometimes there's more to it than that
it depends on the agreements that are in place
sometimes you must also decorate exactly as depicted in the decopak books etc.
absolutely no variation is allowed in some cases
if you are not authorized to purchase that decopak decor you can get busted for that.
if you are not authorized to re-sell that licensed cake topper you can get busted for that too
using licensed cake toppers does not exempt you in all cases
lots of variables
AThe doctrine of first sale states that if you buy something you can legally resell it (meaning the original only, not copies) without restrictions, so it's not clear if resale restrictions are enforceable. That said, if you want to err on the side of caution I agree that it's best to stick to what the license says.
they are i think
if a newbie bought a decopak from a bakery and used it on a cake they can both get busted
the doctrine of you get fired if you go rogue with the design because the cake deco company will fry this store is enforcement in itself
and the doctrine of you are making money off that cake by re-selling my image is also enforceable imo and experience
AAny such lawsuit would be thrown out quickly, since the law specifically limits the distribution rights (but not the reproduction rights) of a copyright owner once the copyrighted item has been sold. The whole point of the doctrine of first sale is to preserve free enterprise of goods once they have been released into the marketplace, in order to avoid having copyright owners say you can only use an original licensed item a specific way.
Of course DecoPac is also free to refuse to do business with you in the future if they find out you are using their products in a way they don't agree with.
there's a lot more ways to be in trouble than to be in lawsuit lawsuit
like get fired, warned, cautioned, told to cease & desist
not to mention--these are things i know of in my life that it's right to caution others about especially newbies when they ask
so they can make their own decisions regardless of the weight/standing of a potential lawsuit
so this way they have more of the big picture
i'm not debating anything i'm not interpreting laws
i'm giving my opinions based on my experience that this stuff can spell trouble
cafeteria style -- take it or leave it
AAgreed, I doubt any baker wants to be the test case for the application of first sale doctrine restrictions to decopac sets. :)
I've had a couple people I know directly affected by copyright attorneys contacting them, so they don't always just warn you to stop before suing you. If you don't have permission, don't do it.
You would be amazed how often companies will grant permission. Disney, of course, is not one of them (sadly).
I live in Charleston, SC. All the local colleges (USC, Clemson, & College of Charleston) simply ask you to complete an inquiry form.
I have also been granted for single use from Survivor (for a groom's cake) & Crown Royal.
It can't hurt to ask! ....unless of course you plan on doing it anyway. Then, you've alerted the company.
AForgive me if this is a dumb question as I was not aware of all of the above but does the same apply if you don't receive money for a cake, eg you make it as a gift?
maybe/ maybe not
say you operate a bakery and you donate a mickey mouse cake for a charity event and it gets all publicized
that could get you zapped because you are def profiting from the exposure
so it depends on how and where you are donating and who you are
but if you think about it as those characters and logos are the property of someone else then you get the better grip on how to operate
if i had an order for an airplane cake for a friend who worked at fedex--i would consider using the logo without specific written permission--might that get me zapped --might but i'd prolly risk it--i might ask him to give a heads up to the legal department--depends
now if i was supplying a store in the airport with fedex logo airplane cookies on an ongoing basis--no i'd expect to get get zapped
if i was making a cake to give to a neighbor's kid--i'd probably not do a character cake--because i do not want to open that door
so lots of variables
some of it is our right as people to be ourselves and a certain fair use of the world we live in and some of it is thievery
and having an on-line presence or not is a factor too--tons of variables--there are no real clear lines--
because the people with the copyrights have to be vigilant to protect them too
although for every rigid legalistic interpreter there will be those that are fast & loose about it
so i think being considerate and as true as reasonably possible works for me
and of course request the permissions
Original message sent by Hollybello
Forgive me if this is a dumb question as I was not aware of all of the above but does the same apply if you don't receive money for a cake, eg you make it as a gift?
AThank you that was all very helpful. I am a hobby baker and all my cakes have been for family so I wasn't quite sure how that law applied to me.