Who Owns The Rights To Cake Pictures?

Decorating By joyfullysweet Updated 9 Feb 2014 , 4:27am by craftybanana

joyfullysweet Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 3:42pm
post #1 of 26

AHi all! I worked at a bakery for about a year. During that time I made hundreds of wedding and specialty cakes. I no longer work there, and would like to create a Facebook page highlighting all my work.

Out of respect, I contacted the bakery owner and asked if I could post pictures of cakes I made while working there. I said I would include a link to their website and list the cakes as being made at their bakery. He said no.

My question is, who truly owns the rights to the pictures? They are not professional pictures, they are ones I took with my phone.

Thanks! Joy

25 replies
-K8memphis Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 3:44pm
post #2 of 26

you own the pictures and the rights thereof

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 3:59pm
post #3 of 26

AThe owner of the bakery has rights to those photos, not you, unfortunately. Posting them could get you in a lit of trouble. I would get a few dummy cake tiers, and start working on a portfolio.

cakeyouverymuch Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 4:11pm
post #4 of 26

Here is a discussion of this issue from which you might profit.  Be aware that your former employer is probably within his rights to say no, and mindful of the fact that you probably don't want to find out the hard way.  If you want a definitive answer to your question that will protect you from future legal issues, its probably best to contact a lawyer.

 

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/762870/employed-decorator-are-my-photos-mine

joyfullysweet Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 4:25pm
post #5 of 26

AUgh, this sucks. I feel like all that work is lost! I even had one of my designs published in a bridal magazine! :(

I do have pictures of my own cakes done from home, but I made some fabulous display cakes for them! Grrrrrrrr

What's even more frustrating is they can use my cakes as examples now, and no one there is able to replicate them!

cakeyouverymuch Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 4:37pm
post #6 of 26

You could replicate them as dummies and take pictures which clearly distinguish them from those you did at work (backgrounds etc), and use those pictures for your own website.

as you wish Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 4:46pm
post #7 of 26

ADoes the bakery you worked for have a website? Along with building a new portfolio, maybe you could also provide a link to the bakery's website stating that this is work you have done in the past. Just a thought. :)

joyfullysweet Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 4:48pm
post #8 of 26

AThey do have a website, but I wouldn't want someone mistaking some of their work for mine! lol

MimiFix Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 5:00pm
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by joyfullysweet 
I even had one of my designs published in a bridal magazine!

What's even more frustrating is they can use my cakes as examples now, and no one there is able to replicate them!

 

Contact the magazine. Depending upon their policy, you might be given permission to use the photo. But as for all the other cakes you decorated: as an employee you were paid for your time. That's business. I'm sorry for this issue, but it may help to slow down and be realistic. I have no doubt you do fabulous work, but I also have no doubt that they can find another cake decorator with excellent skills. 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 9:09pm
post #10 of 26

AAnything you did while employed by the other baker is "work product" and is owned by the company. I know that's no fun.

When I started on my own, I so wanted to direct people to my last companies website. I never did once. I even had several photos on my computer. Never once used them or showed them.

Build a new portfolio of your own work. It will take time, but it will be worth it and you will be proud.

MBalaska Posted 6 Feb 2014 , 10:02pm
post #11 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix
I have no doubt you do fabulous work, but I also have no doubt that they can find another cake decorator with excellent skills.

 

An old boss of mine told a co-worker, a long time ago...............

"You may think that you're the only person here that can do your job, but just try quitting and see how fast you are replaced."

 

Like these guys have said.  You can repeat your own designs easily. It will be worth it. No need to keep looking backwards.

joyfullysweet Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 12:39am
post #12 of 26

AI'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound conceited! :oops: I know I'm not "god's gift to decorating" and there are so many people a thousand times better than me! This bakery's manager and head decorator has the mentality of "I can do whatever you can do in fondant with buttercream", and many of my cakes had very detailed fondant work. Not to say that they won't eventually find someone who can recreate them, but in the two years since I left, there has not. Sorry again and thanks for your information!

FromScratchSF Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 1:34am
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

The owner of the bakery has rights to those photos, not you, unfortunately.
Posting them could get you in a lit of trouble. I would get a few dummy cake tiers, and start working on a portfolio.

 

Is 100% right.  Sorry OP, you do not own the cakes or the photos of the cakes.  The bakery you worked for owns them and has every right to tell you no. - and should tell you no.  

 

Look, I'm a bakery owner, and although I don't mind my employees posting photos of cakes they helped working on, they better not ever claim them as their work or "their cake" because it isn't.  Its my client, my pans and ingredients, my recipes, my vision, my design. my reputation, etc.  If you can follow my contract and sketch and can make the cake the bakery was commissioned to make, that's great.  But it is not your cake. Sorry.  It 100% belongs to the bakery, i.e. me.

 

Good luck with opening your own thing and starting a business with your own work!

joyfullysweet Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 1:43am
post #14 of 26

AI totally see where you are coming from. Yes, I understand it's his reputation, ingredients, pans, clients, etc. but I did meet with all the wedding clients, and custom cake clients, and the designs were either mine, or from a picture the customer brought in. The display cakes were completely my designs. The only thing the owner did was dump packaged cake mix in a bowl, and deliver the cakes. Not saying that he has any less rights to the pictures, just saying that this bakery seems to have been run completely different than yours! I will not use any of the pictures.

as you wish Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 1:53am
post #15 of 26

AThis reminds me of something that happened to me in high school art class. I didn't like the materials the school provided, so I used my own. I also found the classroom atmosphere less than conducive to creativity, so I did the vast majority of the artwork on my own time. At the end of the semester I wanted to bring my work home, but I was not allowed to. The teacher wanted to use it for something and he told me that because it was done for a school assignment it belonged to the school, even though I had done it with my own materials and on my own time. I went so far as to talk to the principal about it, and he said the same thing. Seems like the same kind of situation. I feel for you; it sucks!

MBalaska Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 2:03am
post #16 of 26

Joy Fully Sweet, you're only taking one end of the stick (the truth about the past business) .........now you know so Let it go.....and grab the other end with both hands moving ahead to your own business, prosperity, and success.  You have a great amount to look forward to. Life has never been fair, but you have the support, sharing, and good wishes of the CC folks to help you to navigate your way to achieving your goals.

 

It's obvious from all of your photos that you are a skilled and creative decorator.  You have every right to be proud and pleased with your cakes!!

LeanneW Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 10:12pm
post #17 of 26

You should seek legal copyright advice from an attorney for rock solid legal advice, since none of us here are attorneys and cannot provide legal advice.

 

"The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides that the author of a photograph is the person who creates it. The author will be the first holder of the copyright in the photograph unless this was created in the course of employment in which case the employer will own the copyright." from http://www.own-it.org/news/who-owns-the-copyright-the-photographer-or-the-client

 

If you were asked by your boss to take the pictures, then the pictures are theirs, as you were doing photography work for hire basically.

 

As many have suggested, the best idea would just be to move on, make new cakes, take even better photos. While you're at it, make even better cakes, since that bakery is probably your competition now.

SugaredSaffron Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 10:31pm
post #18 of 26

"unless this was created in the course of employment in which case the employer will own the copyright"

I'd be totally bummed if I were you too! Take is an opportunity to do some new designs, something fresh and current!

-K8memphis Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 11:02pm
post #19 of 26

i worked one place where my job duties included taking pictures of everything on the cameras they supplied and i had asked in advance and i was cleared to also take pictures with my camera so those were my pictures -- 

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 11:15pm
post #20 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

i worked one place where my job duties included taking pictures of everything on the cameras they supplied and i had asked in advance and i was cleared to also take pictures with my camera so those were my pictures -- 


Not necessarily, unless you mean you asked if you could use your camera AND use the pictures on it for your personal use.
Just using your personal camera does not give you rights to the pictures.

Not being argumentative, just don't want someone to think they can take their own camera to work, like it's a loophole :)
 

-K8memphis Posted 7 Feb 2014 , 11:32pm
post #21 of 26

yes they are my pictures--i asked in advance as i stated rather than after the fact like op--

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 8 Feb 2014 , 12:23am
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

yes they are my pictures--i asked in advance as i stated rather than after the fact like op--


The first time I read your comment, I interpreted it as "I used my camera to take pictures for the employer", apparently my reading comprehension is directly connected to how much sleep I do or do not get.

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2014 , 1:08am
post #23 of 26
no worries--this warm berry flavor sounds pretty dang good :lol:
 
 

ZzzQuil Liquid Sleep-Aid 

craftybanana Posted 8 Feb 2014 , 2:10am
post #24 of 26

ALike SugaredSaffron said, did you sign something when you worked there that said something along the lines of "all work done is the property of the bakery"? When my husband writes code, he can't use it for purposes outside of his job because of his contract. Everything he writes becomes the property of the company he works for. If it's in the fine print (usually in the hiring contract, rules and regulations, etc) then you can't use those designs or photos of said designs for yourself again without permission (of which I would get in writing).

If you find out that you can use the designs, just not those exact pictures, then get that in writing as well on one of their official letterheads (that's the only way we would accept copyrighted photos to be reproduced at the photo developing shop I worked at).

Bottom line, get it in writing if they say "yes" to anything, that way your tushie is covered in case they come back later and change their mind.

Edited: cake designs and photos are separate entities

LeanneW Posted 8 Feb 2014 , 5:12pm
post #25 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by craftybanana 

If you find out that you can use the designs, just not those exact pictures, then get that in writing as well on one of their official letterheads (that's the only way we would accept copyrighted photos to be reproduced at the photo developing shop I worked at).

Edited: cake designs and photos are separate entities

 

I do not want to start the discussion about copying cake designs, this is not the place for it and it has been talked about at length before. I recommend that you start fresh and push yourself as an artist. I know every single cake I have ever made, I step back and say, "I could have done that better". SInce you made those cakes, your creativity and skill have probably grown, so use that to make even more awesome cakes.

 

But... No one owns a cake design, any cake design, maybe someone owns a trademark name of a cake design, but not the actual design. Although there may be other matters around ethics in copying cake designs, there is no law against it. You can legally copy any cake design exactly and do not need anyone's permission or credit. Like I said, please do not turn this into a discussion about copying cakes.

craftybanana Posted 9 Feb 2014 , 4:27am
post #26 of 26

A

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeanneW 

 

I do not want to start the discussion about copying cake designs, this is not the place for it and it has been talked about at length before. I recommend that you start fresh and push yourself as an artist. I know every single cake I have ever made, I step back and say, "I could have done that better". SInce you made those cakes, your creativity and skill have probably grown, so use that to make even more awesome cakes.

 

But... No one owns a cake design, any cake design, maybe someone owns a trademark name of a cake design, but not the actual design. Although there may be other matters around ethics in copying cake designs, there is no law against it. You can legally copy any cake design exactly and do not need anyone's permission or credit. Like I said, please do not turn this into a discussion about copying cakes.

 

I wasn't trying too. I was just trying to point out that it depends on what her contract stated. I also have a friend in the graphic design business,but all the artwork he created he could not legally produce outside of his work due to the contract he signed. I was just trying to say that it depends on the contract (if any) that the OP signed. Usually it's only a problem with really big companies though.

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