Starting Up And Copyright Questions.....

Business By CC1980 Updated 7 Nov 2013 , 11:20pm by bighand

CC1980 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 2:24am
post #1 of 14

Hi there

 

I am seriously thinking of starting up my own little home run business printing cake toppers.

 

I am not really sure if copyright is a big issue?

 

I see them on other sites with characters etc and wonder if it is illegal to do this?

 

How do you get permission to use these images without spending a fortune?

 

I am based in NSW Australia and don't really know where to start. I would LOVE to do this for myself I am really excited but a little bit worried it might be to big a thing to take on if I have to deal with copyright etc

 

Any advice would be super

 

Thanks in advance!

13 replies
ApplegumPam Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 2:47am
post #2 of 14

I suspect a lot of the advice you receive will come from people based in the US and they will assume to have good knowledge of our Laws & Regulations - most don't !

I am in Sydney, NSW Australia - so my advice is local to you

There are already plenty of people offering the 'licensed character' types of image toppers - they are sold by the big cake shop wholesalers like Hollywood Cakes & BSC

I wouldn't even try and compete with these - they are expensive for what they are and I don't think it would be a huge money-spinner

 

IF you have graphics background and choose to make some original types of designs you would have more success.

Personally I don't think a business could survive on THIS alone.   GOOD icing sheets are difficult to source - best ones come from US so shipping is an added cost.

If you selling them to either cakers or non-cakers - you will need to have ones that come off the backing easily - where the colours are sharp and true - and you will need some sort of cutting machine if you intend to sell them as 'discs' - best left on the backing sheet though.  Cheaper ones may produce an inferior product, cause much stress to caker who may have ordered it for a specific project/date - businesses that try and skimp/cut corners are rarely given a 2nd chance when this occurs.

Packaging and postage is another expense to consider

 

Guess I am saying .... copyright... is the least of your problems

Business start up info can be found at Office of Fair Trading and ATO websites

Good Luck  :)

CC1980 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 2:55am
post #3 of 14

Thanks for your reply.

 

I am not looking at a large scale business here. I am being very real about it.

 

I wanted to print my own. I have a few ideas. I am a bit of a photographer and live in a touristy kind of beach side area.

I'm thinking I could I do some of my own photos at local markets, Facebook pages etc

Was also thinking of offering other peoples photos that they provide.

Nothing huge - I don't know where to start. Its just an idea now. Id love to be able to get it up and running.

I suppose I am still doing a pro and con list - out loud in this case!

Stitches Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 3:06am
post #4 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by CC1980 
 

Hi there

 

I am seriously thinking of starting up my own little home run business printing cake toppers.

 

Hey, my turn again to be stupid. What kind of cake toppers are you two talking about? Icing sheets?......sorry I don't use them and didn't know you can print your own?

Shasha2727 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 3:07am
post #5 of 14

I like your idea of using photos unique to your customers....and yes, a lot of ppl sell Mickey Mouse stuff & worry about copyright, but unless you're advertising them online, I'd worry about these copyrights about as much as I worry about tearing the tag off pillows (a "Crime" here in the US if you read the tags...)  Competing with people making prints selling Disney & Ninja Turtles images with materials purchased in bulk is tough, so your "niche" could be the custom picture, and would take advantage of your skills as a photographer.... Just be sure to get paid for your time & materials....

CC1980 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 3:15am
post #6 of 14

Yes you can buy edible ink and special printers to print on the icing sheets. That's my plan anyway!

Stitches Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 3:53am
post #7 of 14

I don't know anything about your countries copyright laws.....but don't think for a moment you can compete with the big guys with-out creating something original.

 

If you've got any artistic/design talent along with your photography I'd guess you could come up with some unique designs. That's the only way to compete with big wholesalers and the people who will print their own ............you've gotta design better and market yourself better than your competition.........with a lot smaller budget.

 

If you could create an awesome blog where you use your sheets that would be smart.

jason_kraft Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 5:32am
post #8 of 14

AAustralia has similar protections to the US for copyrighted material. See below: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.-Australia_Free_Trade_Agreement

If you are going to duplicate a copyrighted character, ask for permission from the copyright owner. If you can't get permission, change the design to be more generic and/or purchase a licensed cake topper for resale as part of a turnkey decoration package.

ApplegumPam Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 6:35am
post #9 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Australia has similar protections to the US for copyrighted material. See below:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S.-Australia_Free_Trade_Agreement

If you are going to duplicate a copyrighted character, ask for permission from the copyright owner. If you can't get permission, change the design to be more generic and/or purchase a licensed cake topper for resale as part of a turnkey decoration package.



I would suggest that the OP do her own independant research - relying on wikipedia links from you is the same as me giving advice on performing surgery because I have watched the whole season of Grey's Anatomy

There are MANY copyrights that are ONLY recognised in USA - and the 'Free Trade Agreement' doesn't translate to a blanket cover

Sometimes 'business advice' is best left at .......  Contact your local Government Departments for up-to-date CORRECT information

jason_kraft Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 6:46am
post #10 of 14

A

Original message sent by ApplegumPam

I would suggest that the OP do her own independant research - relying on wikipedia links from you is the same as me giving advice on performing surgery because I have watched the whole season of Grey's Anatomy

FYI, the information in Wikipedia articles includes a source (the small number in brackets at the end of the sentence/paragraph). Here is a source for changes to Australian copyright law and analysis of said changes resulting from the 2004 treaty, a peer-reviewed article that itself contains sources: http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1316/1236

More info can be found directly from the Australian Office of Foreign Affairs & Trade: http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/ausfta/index.html

Do you have a source for your statement that many copyrights are recognized only in the USA and not in Australia, given that the purpose of the agreement was to align the copyright protections of both countries?

ApplegumPam Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 7:44am
post #11 of 14

The Free Trade Agreement really ONLY benefits America -  Australia was essentially bullied into signing it - there is loads and loads of info going back years and years.  Most of the info you have cited relates to 'intellectual property' which (in Australia) needs to be registered - ie you need to claim it as your own and offer proof first (unlike copyright)

In your own link>>...
 

The Australian Prime Minister John Howard emphasized the need for “flexibility” in negotiating a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the U.S. [2]. He seemed prepared to sacrifice local content rules dealing with culture in order to obtain greater access to the agricultural markets of the U.S. [3].

The U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, alleged that Australia’s Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000 (Cth) (Digital Agenda Act) only provided weak protection to online content and fell short of Australia’s international treaty obligations to protect intellectual property [4]. He demanded reforms to Australia’s intellectual property regime as part of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement 2004 (AUSFTA).

Most of this refers to the music industry

I don't have time to argue the toss with you Jason - but surely you would agree that it IS good advice to suggest that an Australian look at her own local laws.... which in fact are a LOT different to yours - 

An Overview of the Free Trade Agreement (which I am sure you have spent time reading) 
http://www.dfat.gov.au/fta/ausfta/outcomes/01_overview.html

An extract...

 

For our creative industries …

  • Closer harmonisation of Australian and US intellectual property laws benefit Australian exporters, by creating a more familiar and certain legal environment, and Australian innovators, and by helping them to attract US investment.
  • Australian copyright industries (including publishing, filmmaking and music) benefit from an extended term of copyright protection, an expeditious process that allows for copyright owners, Internet Service Providers and subscribers to deal with allegedly infringing copyright material on the Internet, and agreed criminal standards for copyright infringement.
  • Australia and the United States will work to further reduce differences in laws and practices relating to patents, trademarks and designs, to further assist our right holders to protect their intellectual property in the US market
  • The AUSFTA demonstrates to our trading partners the benefits of strong intellectual property laws and reinforces Australia's reputation as one of the world's leading countries in protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights.
  • Australia retains the flexibility to implement the Agreement in a way that meets our domestic circumstances, for example, providing a mechanism to introduce public interest exceptions in relation to technological protection measures


    I suggest we leave the LEGALITIES of copyright to the people PAID to understand them - in their respective countries

    You are not a Copyright Lawyer and neither am I ....  

CC1980 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 8:44am
post #12 of 14

AThanks! If I do go ahead with this i think I will just steer clear of other peoples images! Too many laws.

Shasha2727 Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 10:20pm
post #13 of 14

Quote:

Originally Posted by CC1980 
 

Yes you can buy edible ink and special printers to print on the icing sheets. That's my plan anyway!

Yes, I've seen edible ink jet printers online for $250 with food color toner,but I don't think you can just use food colors in your desk jet.  A local cupcake shop I worked atn used regular ink on edible paper, saying "mo one eats the decorations anyway" ???  You have to use the printer once a week or so to prevent the jets from clogging with dried color, and the edible paper costs vary greatly, but here a single printed image sheet sells for $7-$10. And you'll need to replace cartridges, but if you used 30 prints a year in your own work, it would just about pay for itself.  Good luck with whatever you do; I say if you can afford the hardward, get it. You can always sell it used down the road if you find it's not working out for you....

bighand Posted 7 Nov 2013 , 11:20pm
post #14 of 14

Hi everyone I live in Ireland and purchased an edible ink printer a year ago.When I had to buy edible images it cost £7.00 PER SHEET of A4 whether there was 1 item printed or a full sheet .It costs me  £1.00 to buy a sheet to print myself so the savings are great and I can honestly say I have saved a small fortune by buying my own printer. The printers are ordinary printers but you must choose from a list of printers which will be suitable for edible ink(google for a list of suitable printers.).Can I also just say that we were in holiday in Florida for 3 weeks and the printer was unused for that time and I had no problems using it even though some people have had problems when not using it weekly. Also  please be aware that you only  use this printer with edible ink and cannot  switch to normal printing ink,it has to be used for edible ink only.HTH

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