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Copyrights on a cake design?

post #1 of 150
Thread Starter 
ok guys, i've been wondering if i should post this or not....i looked around and couldn't find any other threads on this topic (hope i didn't overlook one already out there - there's so many)

recently, i had a lady email me about the cheeseburger cupcakes that i made for my son's kindergarten class this year.....i posted them here as well as on my website back in june.....here's what her email said...

"It has come to my attention that you have recreated our cheeseburger cupcake design and posted it on your business website. We have gone to great lengths with legal representation to protect our designs from being copied and sold. Recreating our designs with the intent to sell is a violation of the copyright and intellectual property law that protects our work. Typically before someone copies a design, they contact the owner for permission which I have not received. Upon viewing your website, you uploaded the pic in June well after our design was originally posted on our website. This design which includes the fondant slice of cheese can be found nowhere else but with us. We respectfully ask that you remove the pic from your business website in a timely manner. As a baker and cake decorator, I am sure you understand the hard involved in creating new and exciting designs for your clients and the need to protect them from being copied. Thank you for your understanding in this matter and wish your business the best of luck."

can u do that? can you put a copyright on a cake design? i emailed her back and apologized that she thinks i copied her design.....i honestly had never seen any of her cupcakes until that email.....i got the basic concept from this site and made the cupcakes in my own style.....plus i didn't even sell them - they were for my son's kindergarten class!!! i told her that if she indeed has the design protected, that i would gladly take down the pic - i asked her to send me the copyright number/info and haven't heard back yet

i'm assuming that she found the pic of my cupcakes on this site and went to my website from my info here......i wonder if she's contact any of you guys.....anyone else that's made these & posted them to ur website heard from her?

thx everyone!
sharon
post #2 of 150
Honestly, this is not a unique design. I'd contact a lawyer.
Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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post #3 of 150
I don't think you can copyright an "idea". It sounds to me like she got her knickers in a twist because she thinks you copied her design. I would wait for documentation of her copyright before I would believe it. Those cupcakes are very cute, but as the old saying goes, "there is nothing new under the sun".
post #4 of 150
You know what we need at CC? A lawyer/cake decorator who's specialty is in US copyright law. Anyone?
"Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Always be a little kinder than necessary... "
-J.M. Barrie
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"Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Always be a little kinder than necessary... "
-J.M. Barrie
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post #5 of 150
Seriously, if you made cheeseburger cupcakes that somehow had the Golden Arches on a wrapper or something, then I can see how McDonalds could take action, but plain cheeseburger cupcakes??? Yours are adorable, by the way. I just can't imagine why anybody would get so bent out of shape because somebody else made a similar cupcake to theirs.
post #6 of 150
didn't they do one just like that on Warren Brown's show, Sugar rush?

I would reply with "I do understand you want to protect your design, but I actually copied a design from a cake I saw on FOODNETWORK."
Cake. So many flavors, so little time.
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Cake. So many flavors, so little time.
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post #7 of 150
I do not believe for one second that she is the only person ever who has made a cheese slice out of fondant.... Give me a break! I guess some people have nothing better to do than bother someone else. Your cheeseburger cupcakes are adorable by the way!!! How can someone say they have a copyright on that, or most cakes for that matter? If they could have the idea, millions of other people could too!

I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. first of all, if she really had a copyright, she would have jumped at the chance to send it to you proving it. She seems like the type of person that would not waste any time to prove it. I am so glad I came across this post, because it drives me crazy when people are like that.
post #8 of 150
Seriously???!!! What kind of crap is that! She is obviously not an educated person to not know what a copyright law is.
post #9 of 150
based on info at this site:
http://www.copyright.gov/register/visual.html

most likely NOT possible to copyright.


and as for "no where but us" google search tells a far different story.
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #10 of 150
It looks like a real hamburger to me. I think you should wait for her documentation before removing it from your website. I don't know if you can copyright an idea and if that were the case none of us would be able to think for ourselves, as many can come up with a similar idea. As far as copying her cheese, I would have done the same thing without getting it from another source. Cheese is yellow and flat so fondant would have been my first thought.

But in the end we must follow the law and it is now up to her to provide the proof.
post #11 of 150
Thread Starter 
thx guys! i feel lots better now! icon_biggrin.gif i was really worried....everyone loves those cupcakes and i'd really hate to take the pic down....and that was my thinking 'how the heck can she copyright an idea i've seen done a million times?!' if it was her pic that i was posting, that's one thing.....but i made them! icon_lol.gif

Wiltonlady - right on! we need a CC lawyer around to answer all copyright/business/legal questions!!! thumbs_up.gif

thx again for all ur support!
post #12 of 150
I would send her a link to every cupcake cheeseburger you can find. Even my local grocery store sells cheeseburger cupcakes - did she copy them from Safeway???????? How on earth can she believe that she invented fondant "cheese"?
"A balanced diet is cake in each hand!"
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"A balanced diet is cake in each hand!"
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post #13 of 150
I would not be too concerned. I think you did great about asking for the copyright number, then you would remove your design from your website.

Every one copies ideas, unless it is trademarked or has a copyright. If you are truly concerned, contact a lawer which specializes in Copyrights and/or Trademarks.
post #14 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessireb

It looks like a real hamburger to me. I think you should wait for her documentation before removing it from your website. I don't know if you can copyright an idea and if that were the case none of us would be able to think for ourselves, as many can come up with a similar idea.



haha, that's what my friend said.....after telling her about this, she called to play a prank on me.....i answered and she said 'ah yes, i was calling because u've posted a cake on ur website that i feel needs to be removed. u see, i thought up that idea in my head last week and i believe u stole it with ur psychic abilities' icon_lol.gif

i love u guys! thumbs_up.gif
post #15 of 150
Ohhhhhhh Noooooooo
My first post is wrong.....if she can prove hers was published first and if she can prove she filed a copyright she is in the right regardless if you came to the same design independently.

The courts apply three basic criteria to determine the existence of an "original work."

1. Originality: The work must be independently created by the author, but it need not be novel.

2. Creativity: The work must possess a minimal degree of creativity.

3. Fixation in a tangible medium: This refers to the actual expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself. This occurs when the work appears, by or under the authority of the author, in a sufficiently permanent state to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated to others.

I would contact a lawyer immediately.
Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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Award winning cake designer and fine art sculptor.

"An artist discovers his genius the day he dares not to please." ~Andre Malraux
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