Using Other People's Designs

Baking By NancysFancy Updated 4 Mar 2007 , 4:48pm by KHalstead

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NancysFancy Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 2:13pm
post #31 of 56

I'm glad to share that there is a happy ending to this thankfully brief saga!

The decorator I complained about (but have not named) took the initiative and emailed me after hearing from a CC member who was reading this thread. I asked that they take down the pictures of my designs and they immediately did so. We had a very gracious exchange and I harbor no ill will.

I want to thank everyone who gave me advice about this. I have read every post and all of the comments were extremely helpful. I am sure I would have taken the advice of several posters to write directly to the decorator and ask nicely to remove the pictures, and it was just plain good luck that the decorator reached out to me and was so decent about it.

Thanks again to everyone for being part of this thread. It's a great feeling to be able to tap into this fantastic resource.

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Dustbunny Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 2:24pm
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I'm glad it all ended well icon_smile.gif

I just have to say that I just checked your website and am amazed by your work, all I can say is WOW!!!!

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missyv110 Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 2:27pm
post #33 of 56

This is a wonderful resolution to an awkward issue. I commend the decorator on being up-front and taking the time to email you right away and remove the pictures, and I apologize myself for coming on so strongly earlier.

I'm so happy it had a pleasant ending.

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kneadacookie Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 2:28pm
post #34 of 56

i've seen a lot of cookies that look like they came right from rolling pin productions. i'd love to do some of thier stuff, but i would never try to pass it off as my own. i make a lot of my cookie cutters, but yes a lot of designs i found thru yahoo or out of wood painting books. sometimes it's a fine line. nancy, your designs are pretty unique. i would probably be upset too, but i think some are right, unless they are using your pics exactly, there's not much you can do. i can see where you'd be upset.

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RisqueBusiness Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 2:32pm
post #35 of 56

I know, I have NEVER seen cookies like the ones Nancy makes...! they must take forever! and I if I would ever get/buy one I would shellac it and frame it!

I would NOT dare eat it!! they are such a work of art!!

as far a copying another decorator's work...well...we all get inspired by a great design!! I think that is the best form of flattery! Or sometimes another designer sparks our own creative juices.

What bothers me ( just a is if I come up with a completely unique techinque and some random person comes up to me and wants to know "HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" or they want me to tell them how to copy it...

I hesitate...I'm like...I don't know you! lol

When I was making wedding cakes and a bride would come to me with a picture in a Bridal first reply was ...if you want that particular cake, you MUST contact that particular designer and the contact info is in the back of the magazine.

But, if you want an "interpretation" of that particular design, then I will do my best...And we took it from there.

There are some TRULY AMAZING designs here and out there..some I could make with my eyes closed...some that would KICK MY BUTT design wise..but each and every cake that I get "inspired" by...will ALWAYS have MY spin on

By the way Nancy...Thank you for sharing your talent with us!

You are another CC memeber that needs to seriously consider writing a book!

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czyadgrl Posted 1 Feb 2007 , 3:02pm
post #36 of 56

It's great to hear a nice ending to the situation.

Nancy, your cookies are completely AMAZING. I have never seen cookies like that before either. They're beautiful!

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keriskreations Posted 2 Feb 2007 , 1:35am
post #37 of 56

So glad to hear that it's a positive ending to this problem! Very nice of the decorator to come to you first - shows a lot of courage on their part. Keep making your awesome cookies - and publish a book of tips for those of us that are cookie challenged!

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Tscookies Posted 2 Feb 2007 , 1:46am
post #38 of 56

I'm glad it worked out for the both of you. You do beautiful work, Nancy. I can't even imagine someone attempting to copy you.

I just wanted to say that what would really upset me is if someone copied a design which was clearly my unique creation and then UNDERCUT my price. No, I would not be very happy with that person at all.

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LisaMS Posted 2 Feb 2007 , 3:14am
post #39 of 56

Gosh, well, I see why someone would copy your designs...I just looked through your entire portfolio! icon_smile.gif Fun , creative, beautiful and unique stuff there! That was fun looking. <grin>

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paolacaracas Posted 2 Feb 2007 , 1:11pm
post #40 of 56

[ and publish a book of tips for those of us that are cookie challenged!

I'm first in line for your book! your work it's just out of this world

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RisqueBusiness Posted 2 Feb 2007 , 2:18pm
post #41 of 56

Yes, Nancy's cookies make me happy when I look at them.

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pinkyEm Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 2:01am
post #42 of 56

Oh, that's great! I was hoping it would be that easy. icon_biggrin.gif

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beachcakes Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 2:17am
post #43 of 56

Holy Cow!! I have never seen such beautiful cookies! Boy, do you have talent!!!

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dailey Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 4:44am
post #44 of 56

wow, what a fun thread to read...especially since its about me.

let me just clarify a few things. first off, i designed my website long before i came across nancy's, so no, i did not 'copy" her font. like some else has already mentioned, its pretty popular. secondly, the cookies that i duplicated were the more basic designs on nancy's site, (pregnant belly, wedding dress, etc) not the more detailed cookies; i surely don't have the patience for those! i was alerted of this tread by my friend, who is also a CC member. she told me nancy was, in her words, "very distraught" over someone using her designs. well, i had *just* added them to my site that day and thought i'd email nancy to see if it was indeed me who she was "complaining" about. i decided to remove the pictures because of one reason and one reason only...nancy asked me in a respectful manner. obviously, i did *not* have to. i'm most certainly not a "thief" like *whats-her-face* stated in her post nor do i feel badly about duplicating the cookies. do i think its wrong to copy other decorator's work? absolutely not, and from looking at the gallery her at CC, neither do many of you. i didn't copy the cookies "exactly", i did change a couple things here and there (colors, etc). i *do* feel badly, however, about upsetting nancy, it was not my intention. trust me, its much easier for me to just remove the pictures then know i am creating much distress for another decorator. i certainly do not want to be the cause of anyone losing any sleep over this matter.

at any rate, i will continue to find inspiration on different websites, books, etc. and maybe even come up with a few of my own. : )

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cakenutz Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 5:08am
post #45 of 56

I'm glad it worked out well. I do remember hearing that imitation was the best form of flattery, even though sometimes it's not fair and I know for myself I have seen a Colette Peters cake and said I can do that and did. maybe not to the T but close. Although there is nothing new under the sun, some do have alot more creative ideas than others. I don't know how we could ever claim a design when what we do is copy everything we see. icon_smile.gif Your things are beautiful thumbs_up.gif

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mitsel8 Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 5:14am
post #46 of 56

To Dailey:
Sorry I called you a "thief."
My mistake, I wrote before I had all the facts.

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sugarsugar Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 10:30pm
post #47 of 56

I have to say I agree with Dailey - while I think it was very nice of her to remove the images of her website, I don't think it was something she needed to do. We all glean inspiration from all over - if you produce something so special and so unique that you don't ever want anyone else to even attempt the same, the only way to ensure that is to not put it out there for the public to see. People aren't thieves for re-creating designs....I could say that Nancy copied me, because long ago I made pea pod cookies for a Valentine's party. Did she create them first, or did I? Who can say? Certainly, her "peas be my valentine" tag was taken from can buy shirts, cards, etc. online with that same message. Did Nancy "steal" someone's clever play on words? Likewise, I saw wedding dress cookies on hangers a couple of years ago on a Food Network program....did Rae Bakes take her idea from Nancy, did Nancy take hers from Rae, or did 2 clever and talented people manage to come up with a similar idea? As long as the cookie (or whatever) in question was created by the individual who is claiming it, it's theirs to claim - they did the work, whether the idea originated with them or not.

How many people have stated in this very forum their intention to replicate "Cookies By Design" cookies? Why is that fine, but when it's another decorator on the site (or off) it's not? CBD designs originated with someone somewhere, right? Why should that person's designs be valued any differently than Nancy or anyone else? Please don't say it's because CBD puts their work so "out there" - Nancy does too, by having a website meant to promote her business. Whether it's on a smaller scale or not shouldn't matter.

Bottom line - be flattered. Someone thought so highly of your design skills that they felt inspired to create something similar - they aren't you, never will be, and likely aren't even competition for you anyways (whether in terms of location, legality, skill level, etc.). Isn't knowing that it was your idea enough? Be proud of what you do, have confidence in your skills, and don't worry too much about everyone else.

JM(ever so humble)O.

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deester Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 11:06pm
post #48 of 56

Wow! sugarsugar, if I could have thought of exactly what I would have said on this matter - you would have taken the words right out of my mouth. Well put - excellent post!

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deester Posted 3 Feb 2007 , 11:07pm
post #49 of 56

BTW - Nancy, your cookies are quite awesome!!

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icantcook Posted 10 Feb 2007 , 2:49pm
post #50 of 56

Dailey and Nancy - I applaud your graciousness! thumbs_up.gif This could have gotten really ugly.

Many of us walk the thin line of trying to make "our rendition" of a pattern we see, which may or may not be considered "design stealing". I am still in the caveman stage of decorating, so no one has to worry about me trying to pass one off, but maybe hopefully someday I'll be doing the really intricate work! I was reading this thread to see if there is an accepted protocol. Maybe one already exists, but is there a sticky somewhere about in what situations we should give credit (like we had to site our sources in reasearch papers if it was a direct quote, but not if we were just paraphrasing the concept)?

Thank you for letting us see that the issue was resolved with such class.

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cindy6250 Posted 10 Feb 2007 , 3:01pm
post #51 of 56


Just looked at your website and I must say, you have some wonderful cookies on your site. I love that poodle cookie.


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MomLittr Posted 10 Feb 2007 , 3:08pm
post #52 of 56

I will admit I get inspiration from others pictures, but also know I could never reproduce exactly those designs. If I wanted to do an exact replica, would always PM that person and ask if theywould mind. One other thing to consider, when we get the Wilton yearbooks, aren't we copying their designs and the designs of any contest winners they publish? My last cake (grandson's christening cake) was a design from the 1995 yearbook. It came close but not totally the whole design as I did not do the stringwork, so don't consider this an exact copy. I am not artistic enough to be able to come up with any "signature" design, just use bits and pieces of what I have seen others do and am impressed by.

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kissmycookie Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 4:29am
post #53 of 56

Nancy's designs are incredible, it's unfortunate to see this thread though. I worked in technology for many years, talk about copyrights ! I have noticed Susan @ rolling pin productions speaks to the same issue at her website, so perhaps Nancy can make a similar notation regarding legal concerns?

that being said, copyrighting any design is a lengthy and tedious process, and unless a competitor is in your back yard, it's likely best to know each will find their market and hopefully thrive?

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cambo Posted 11 Feb 2007 , 6:40am
post #54 of 56

I agree with kissmycookie......I worked for copyright/business lawyers for several years and saw this all the time. The ONLY way to protect your work and be able to pursue legal course is to copyright EVERY SINGLE cookie, which is VERY costly, tedious and lengthy. Simply placing a copyright symbol on your website or a blurb about copyright is not the same as legally copyrighting every image/object/product. Some folks include a "copyright 2007 (or whatever year)....." on the bottom of their website, which is technically illegal. You have to got through the copyright process to actually claim copyright!

Nancy and Dailey....your cookies are fabulous and you should be flattered that anyone would try to replicate either of your works of art!

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mangiamangia Posted 14 Feb 2007 , 12:46am
post #55 of 56

I am also guilty of this.

Last year I made some cookies for my sister -in -law's personal bridal shower that I was unable to attend. I found a picture online after spending hours surfing. I hand cut them and decorated the bustier almost exactly like the one I had found online. Well, when I posted them I couldn't even remember where I had found the picture that I copied! Someone here on CC pointed out it was from rollingpin productions.

All that said, I was such a newbie that I didn't have a clue what I was doing and that a lot of people here on CC where probably pissed about my using the rollingpin design but it didn't even cross my mind. Since then I have seen that same design pop up again made by others here on CC.

Ok, so now that my kids are needing attention, I don't remember where exactly I was going with this but wanted to say I have done no less than this in the past and am glad that I didn't recieve this much scrutiny!

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KHalstead Posted 4 Mar 2007 , 4:48pm
post #56 of 56

I'm SOOOOOO fact...........I set my kids up at the comp. with several pages of cookie pics and ask them to pick which cookies they'd like me to try and make for their school party.......the dracula cookies I made are TOTALLY a theft from rolling pin productions......I mean theirs are wayyyyy better because THEY are way better at the whole cookie thing than I am........I couldn't buy the cookie cutter anywhere (probably because they invented the cookie themselves) so I made my own!!! Granted my cookie wasn't EXACTLLY like theirs.....but I assure you if I was as talented as they are it would have been!!!! lol I love love love when I see a cake pop up on the home page that looks SUPER similair to something I've made! I always sit back and say wow......someone actually saw something I made and thought it was cool enough that they wanted to try and do it too??? How awesome!!! I ALWAYS take it as a compliment as I think EVERYONE should!!!

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