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Written permission to reproduce copyrighted characters. Does everybody have it?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I did not have a clue about it until recently. How can you get that permission? Where?

post #2 of 21
Once 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.
post #3 of 21
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dani1081 View Post

 Jason, I wonder if this cake needed copyright permission?
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/photo.php?fbid=10151336685263498&set=a.155837033497.1214517.25440463497&type=1&theater
Considering Mickey and Minnie were both hand-painted, permission from Disney would be required.
post #5 of 21

That's what kind of bugs people, seeing big names like you just linked to doing that. :(

*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
Birthday Cakes
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post #6 of 21

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

post #7 of 21

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #8 of 21

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #9 of 21
If 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.
Edited by jason_kraft - 1/22/13 at 10:22am
post #10 of 21

 

 

and ifQuote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

If you buy a licensed cake topper or decopac you do not need permission...

 

 

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #11 of 21
The 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.
post #12 of 21

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #13 of 21
Any 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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine
post #14 of 21

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #15 of 21
Agreed, I doubt any baker wants to be the test case for the application of first sale doctrine restrictions to decopac sets. icon_smile.gif
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