Any way around this?

Decorating By CakesbyMichele Updated 6 Oct 2013 , 3:19pm by howsweet

costumeczar Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 10:39am
post #31 of 91

A

Original message sent by onmymind

Everyone is crazy on here about this copyright crap... why would viagra company be looking for people that do cakes with their name on it??? really... They don't have anything else to be concern with, like running a hugh company.  NO... that are after all the cake decorators that put a name of a pill on their cakes.  Good lord, what has this world come too.  I really can't believe this question is being asked!

You'd be surprised what big companies will do if they decide to. If it's trademarked or copyrighted, don't put it on anything you're selling and you won't have to find out.

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 10:57am
post #32 of 91

AAsk someone who's received a letter from their attorneys and been threatened with a $10,000 fine and jail time how serious they are about little old cake decorators using their name.

The copyright owners have to spend time making sure anyone who uses their brand names without permission is dealt with to cover themselves when a more sinister breach of the law is taking place. The laws aren't for some and not others.

VanillaSky Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 11:29am
post #33 of 91

AIts funny you mention Viagra. I work for a large technology company and two years ago, the IP lawyers in my group hosted a symposium with the IP lawyers at Pfizer, Burberry, a software company whose name escapes me and a representative from an Internet watchdog group. They spoke about the the infringements they are concerned about.

For Pfizer, they have huge issues preventing counterfeiters, ESP., in other countries, from making sugar pills that copy the look of their pills and selling them on the Internet. More and more sites keep on springing up and it's getting harder to police. Some legitimate pharmacists and hospitals have been duped. People are dying as a result.

For Burberry, they spoke about that, even 10 years ago, if you went into NYC Chinatown, you could buy a fake Burberry or Gucci bag for $30. And it looked fake. They did not police this aggressively because everyone knew it was a fake and the person buying it would not likely spend $500+ on a bag, so it was not like they were losing customers. Now, almost weekly a new site springs up that looks like its affiliated with a luxury brand and it sells fake bags that look like the real thing. The buyer probably pays $200-500 for the bag, thinking its real but at a discount. They lose out and Burberry does too because they buyer might have bought a real bag from them.

The software company talked about thieves stealing code, so unlike with Burberry and Pfizer, the fake can be as good as the original.

The Internet watch group member spoke about how these counterfeiters profits went to fund terrorist activities, human trafficking etc.

I was nearly tempted to ask the Burberry atty how much time they spend policing cakers on the Internet, but did not want to get laughed out the room. I know for my company - the answer is zero as we are too busy dodging patent trolls looking for multi-million payouts as well as working with our business customers to come up with ways to stop counterfeit trafficking. .

Incidentally, my company has a highly recognizable brand and this Tuesday I made a shower cake for a colleague using the brand likeness, and 30 attorneys in our law dept saw said cake and eat said cake and no one asked me if I checked with our IP group for permission. BTW, our IP law dept has won multiple legal accolades and awards, and is on the top of their game, and loved the cake.

Take this story as you will.

onmymind Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 4:00pm
post #34 of 91

APlease someone post a copy of said $10,000 letter telling them to stop using a word, namebrand, etc. on cake. I'm sorry but I don't believe it. Unless you are a famous cake decorator on tv or something how do they fine out?? It's different if you are counterfiting a item or making fack pills with that name on them and selling them as meds!! a CAKE with the name on it... really. Some people on this site really take themselves too seriously!! If you are making molds or cake pans or something else in a copyrighted image and making money, than yes... you could get in trouble. But a cake that is going to be eaten and gone FOREVER in your belly, no way! I don't believe you can get in trouble for that! Period, so some PLEASE post a "letter" showing that one of your cakes got in trouble with a big company!

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 4:24pm
post #36 of 91

A

Original message sent by onmymind

Unless you are a famous cake decorator on tv or something how do they fine out?

That's a good point. It's not like we have a global interconnected network with different sites where people can post pictures of cakes and a variety of services that will allow you to quickly and easily search images of cakes that have been tagged with descriptions of copyright-protected characters.

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 4:59pm
post #38 of 91

AHere's the thing - if you know it's illegal but don't think you'll get caught then that's your decision. You're the one who wins or loses this gamble, nobody else. There's certainly plenty of clients out there who don't care that it's illegal and still want their cake, so it's not like you won't be short of orders. You might lose some respect amongst your fellow bakers and you'll probably always have that little niggling worry about if you ever will really get into trouble, but if that doesn't bother you then go ahead. It's no skin off the rest of our noses.

VanillaSky Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:14pm
post #39 of 91

AKikiandkyle,

I agree with your post. You do need the permission of the copyright or trademark owner to use their image, and sell a cake with that image. I respect any baker who refrains from selling such cakes because they they it's the wrong thing to do ON PRINCIPLE. I just object to the posters who try to dissuade people from selling character cakes without permission by using overblown threats of jail time and exorbitant fines. I am not saying anyone has done that in this thread but it happens from time to time.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:21pm
post #40 of 91

AI'm not sure why it's objectionable to bring up the consequences of copyright infringement, especially given the general knowledge gaps on this topic.

I agree that it is overblown to say that you will go to jail if you infringe copyright (which is why no one has said that) but legal action (including fines) against infringers is a reality, although the chances of getting caught are still relatively low.

VanillaSky Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:28pm
post #41 of 91

A[QUOTE]Ask someone who's received a letter from their attorneys and been threatened with a $10,000 fine and jail time how serious they are about little old cake decorators using their name.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE]I agree that it is overblown to say that you will go to jail if you infringe copyright (which is why no one has said that) but legal action (including fines) against infringers is a reality, although the chances of getting caught are still relatively low.[/QUOTE]

Jason, someone has said that and that is what I was responding too.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:32pm
post #42 of 91

AOops, I must have missed that...while jail time is possible for criminal infringement (infringing for commercial gain can be prosecuted as such) it is such a remote possibility it's not even worth considering unless you have a massive operation. The threat of jail time is likely used to persuade the defendant towards a settlement that saves both sides the cost of legal fees.

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:33pm
post #43 of 91

AI can't remember the names of any of the posters but there are members here who have either received these letters or who know someone who did. I think it's always better to warn people of the worst that can happen, lest they think a slap on the hand somehow diminishes the illegality of their actions.

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:37pm
post #45 of 91

ALet's just say I have no intention of being the person who finds out how likely it is that you'll get caught or go to jail but if anyone else wants to step up and test it out then go for it!

VanillaSky Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 5:55pm
post #46 of 91

AThis is free/internet legal advice, so take it for what its worth, which is nothing:

If any mom and pop bakery gets a cease and desist letter from a corporation, which rarely happens, but if it did, I would strongly advise them to stop selling that corporation's character cakes immediately. They should not have been doing it in the first place.

For most corporations, you stopping what you are doing and pulling the pics would be the end of story.

If after stopping, the corporation still threatens to go after them for $10K or jail time or their first born child, my first call would be to my local tv station. The reporters in CT and NY love this kind of story --The big bad corporation going after the little guy.

I am not advising anyone to sell character cakes without permission.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 6:02pm
post #47 of 91

AIf someone abides by a C&D there would be no legal action, unless the IP owner retains incompetent legal advisors or doesn't listen to them.

Note that C&Ds are not required to initiate legal action, a company sending a C&D to an infringer is being nice (and trying to save legal costs).

VanillaSky Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 6:08pm
post #48 of 91

AThanks, Jason.

I get that a cease and desist letter is not required to start legal action. I'm not sure how that changes my point that corporations haven't been going after cakers with any regularity or frequency, and if they did it's usually through a cease and desist letter getting them to stop. Anything above that (fines and legal action) would probably hurt the brand they are trying to protect.

I think I'm done here.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 6:17pm
post #49 of 91

AIt depends on how they find the infringement. If they find out incidentally then they would probably just go with a C&D. However, if they contract with an IP protection firm that gets to keep a percentage of each settlement, you can bet that they will skip the C&D and go directly to a lawsuit with a settlement offer.

There might be some minor damage to the brand (unless the settlement includes a gag order), but considering a brand is nothing more than IP, failing to protect it would also cause damage through dilution. If a case like this was to go to trial and be publicized it would also spread the word about infringement and deter future violators.

onmymind Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 8:32pm
post #50 of 91

Aha, ha, ha... so funny!!! all these BIG corportations, trolling facebook twitter and EVEN CAKE CENTRAL looking for their trademark images, names on cake!!!!

OMG, if I put the president's face on a cake I may have homeland security on my door step.

But wait... were is the evidence that I did a cake with a copyright image on it??? you have a picture, really.... well prove I did that cake, oh well, my guest just ate the evidence!! People, people stop being soooo dramatic!! Like I said if you received on of these letter, please post it!

Call doing copyright images on cake free advertising. People put Mickey on a cake, the parents go out and buy disney cups, plastes, balloons to decrate for the party. They make money.

I think it has become a real "urban legend" myth to say if you put Disney on a cake they are going after you. I have NEVER heard of this happening. It does when someone makes disney MOLDS, etc and mass produces something with a trademark name image and make money selling it.

Really grow up everyone!!

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 8:45pm
post #51 of 91

A

Original message sent by onmymind

ha, ha, ha... so funny!!! all these BIG corportations, trolling facebook twitter and EVEN CAKE CENTRAL looking for their trademark images, names on cake!!!!

Not really, it's a lot easier to just use something like Google Image Search.

OMG, if I put the president's face on a cake I may have homeland security on my door step.

The president's face is not copyrighted, nor is copyright infringement a matter of national security.

But wait... were is the evidence that I did a cake with a copyright image on it??? you have a picture, really.... well prove I did that cake

The picture is the evidence and is all that is necessary. Typically the picture is accompanied by a description indicating who made the cake or is on a business page that helpfully provides contact info. If you feel the IP owner cannot prove you made the cake, you are free to ignore a C&D and pay for your own legal defense.

Call doing copyright images on cake free advertising. People put Mickey on a cake, the parents go out and buy disney cups, plastes, balloons to decrate for the party. They make money.

Anyone who creates original creative work has the right to allow copying of said work if they believe it is free advertising. You do not have the right to make this decision on behalf of other people who have created their own work.

Really grow up everyone!!

Participating in a grown-up society means that you should respect the time and effort other people have invested in their work and abide by their wishes as to how that work can be used, just as you would want others to respect you and your work.

BrandisBaked Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:01pm
post #52 of 91

AYou'd think with all the bookmarking and saving, if someone here had posted they had received a cease and desist, it would have been reposted every time this topic comes up. I have read a few posts that "a friend's roommate's cousin's hairdresser's sister" had it happen, but no facts.

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:05pm
post #53 of 91

A

Original message sent by BrandisBaked

You'd think with all the bookmarking and saving, if someone here had posted they had received a cease and desist, it would have been reposted every time this topic comes up. I have read a few posts that "a friend's roommate's cousin's hairdresser's sister" had it happen, but no facts.

I found this one in about 30 seconds: http://blog.al.com/tuscaloosa/2012/08/bakery_gets_ua_cease-and-desist.html

onmymind Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:20pm
post #54 of 91

Ahey... jason_kraft... really, I'm sure Disney has a department that "google images" all day looking for people making cakes with Disney on it. "major eye roll!!" Plenty of non business people make a disney princess cake for their kid and I'm sure they are not going to get the "LETTER"! The time in enough trying to go through each pic and trying to decide which is a cake business and which one is just a mom making a cake would cost more money that it's worth. Yeah right, disney is going to sue a MOM over a birthday cake!! Because that wouldn't cause all kinds of BAD PRESS for family friendly Disney!!

Yes you can google image search, do it right now with "Mickey mouse cakes".... hundreds and hundreds of images come up... now you will have to click through each one and hope the right info is attached to it, a family friend at the party could that a pic and post it with wrong info of who the decorator is etc. etc. etc. etc!! sooooo a picture is NOT the only proof you need (I use to work in a lawyers's office, can't you tell). One little ole pic would not stand up in court... now do you see what the problem is your statement??? These coroporations would have to put so much time and money in going after cake decorators using likenesses etc. on cakes. These big corporations go after, like I said before, people who make mass products, like molds, permant cake toppers, etc and sell.

Thank you Brandis Baked... it is all a myth, I have NEVER seen one of these letters, only heard, on a site like this about a S&D letter, sent to a cake decorator. it's on the internet so it must be true!!

Remember Food Network has had many challenges that include disney characters... this only encourages cake decorators around the country to make disney themed cakes for God sake!!

put VIAGRA on your cake and make merry!!!

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:21pm
post #55 of 91

AOne of my previous jobs included collecting royalties from companies that licensed my client's copyrighted name and logo. When companies used that trademark outside of our license agreements there was no royalty to be collected, so I didn't get paid. It affects more than just big billion dollar companies.

Like I said if you don't believe it's a big deal then great for you. It's not my business to care (anymore). That doesn't mean other bakers shouldn't know what the potential consequences are so they can make their own minds up just like you did. 'Some lady on the internet said it was OK' isn't a valid legal defense. 'I heard that's just an urban myth' isn't either.

onmymind Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:27pm
post #56 of 91

A"I found this one in about 30 seconds:"

They didn't sue her, couldn't sue about a letter A. she put A on her stuff to this day. This was because of a bakery in spiting distance from the school!! (if you looked into this further).

I said prove someone really got sued, you know that $10,000 dollar letter!!

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:28pm
post #57 of 91

AWhy? You're not going to change your mind so what does it matter?

jason_kraft Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:30pm
post #58 of 91

A

Original message sent by onmymind

"I found this one in about 30 seconds:"

They didn't sue her, couldn't sue about a letter A. she put A on her stuff to this day. This was because of a bakery in spiting distance from the school!! (if you looked into this further).

I said prove someone really got sued, you know that $10,000 dollar letter!!

I posted that link in response to a request for an example C&D letter, not an example lawsuit. Any settlement from a lawsuit would likely be sealed so you wouldn't be able to read about it online.

carmijok Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:35pm
post #59 of 91

AMuch ado about nothing. Make your cake and if the company contacts you apologize and don't do it again. Explain your amazement that you would be singled out given all that you found here...http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=ipad&va=viagra+cakes

kikiandkyle Posted 4 Oct 2013 , 9:37pm
post #60 of 91

AAlso, if you read into that UA case more you'd see that while the school was within its right to send the letter, they said they would not proceed with any further action after outcries from the local community, especially considering that some of the items in question had actually been ordered by the school themselves. UA decided to work out an agreement with the bakery which then allowed them to use the logo.

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