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Bill in Congress could block sites for infringing copyright

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
FYI, a new bipartisan bill is working its way through both the House and the Senate that would allow copyright owners to block an entire web site if it hosts or facilitates content that infringes copyright.

If this bill is signed into law, it means all of Cake Central could potentially be blocked (for users in the US anyway) if someone posts a cake with a copyrighted character, and web sites for bakery businesses could suffer the same fate if copyrighted images are posted.

See the link below for more info about the bill and what you can do to stop it.

http://lifehacker.com/5860205/all-about-sopa-the-bill-thats-going-to-cripple-your-internet
post #2 of 37
Ouch, that would suck. I understand why they are doing it. But wow! I guess if it passes, there is going to be a major clean up of the albums...
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post #3 of 37
It will also make it where we can't post music videos, links or really anything on FB anymore. I understand if it's something someone is making money from, but this will affect non-commercial uses as well. This is yet another infringement on our lives that the government is trying to make.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
To be fair, many non-commercial uses of copyrighted material without permission are already illegal (there are a few exceptions such as parody and education). Many oppose the bill because the remedy -- blocking the entire site -- is draconian, when there is already a process (DMCA takedown) that will remove only the offending content.

The language of the bill is also vague enough that even discussing copyright infringement on a site's forum could trigger the entire site to be blocked.
post #5 of 37
I get that companies want to protect what is copyrighted as they own the right to it. But how are we as cake decorators suppose to get permission when it is like crossing a sea infested with sharks. There are so many hoops to jump through and even then it is a very slim chance you will get permission.

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea? I know as cake designers we should be able to steer our clients away from infringment cakes but you know how some can be, persistent! Sometimes I just don't see how to get around it.

Not trying to cause issues I just really want to do everything right and within the laws but still keep clients happy!

Any thoughts and/or advice, thanks!
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post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea?


When customers request a design with a copyrighted character, we explain that the customer needs to get permission from the copyright owner before we can make the cake. The alternative plan (which is what usually happens) is to purchase licensed cake toppers and incorporate them into a more generic design that matches the color theme of the original request.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If someone comes to you and wants a 3D Mickey Mouse cake how do you talk them out of that but still create something that resembles their idea?


When customers request a design with a copyrighted character, we explain that the customer needs to get permission from the copyright owner before we can make the cake. The alternative plan (which is what usually happens) is to purchase licensed cake toppers and incorporate them into a more generic design that matches the color theme of the original request.



Thanks! I looks like that is what I will be doing from now on icon_smile.gif

If I purchase little toys I can use them on a cake right, without breaking infringment laws?
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Tracy's Cake Creations
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post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinagirlcakes

If I purchase little toys I can use them on a cake right, without breaking infringment laws?


As long as the toys are officially licensed, copyright law allows you to resell them without permission either on their own or as part of another product (like a cake).
post #9 of 37
I make a "background" for the toys which are usually purchased by the customer. I refuse to do licensed characters, and I have always managed to make the customer something they like. And yes, I have a "Hello Kitty" cake in my pics, that was for a close friend who I didn't charge. And yes I realize I could still get in trouble for it. It was a compromise I didn't feel entirely comfortable making, but I thought it utrned out cute, so I posted it here. I should probably take it down.
post #10 of 37
I inform the customer that they are also infringing on a trademark and they can be sued. All it takes is for Grandma to post a picture of that cute little cake on her facebook page and a year later the letter comes. This usually stops them from even wanting the cake without the proper licensed figures or the approved cake.

I copied the grocery store cake for my Harry Potter cake. I bought the figure and copied exactly as was specified using my artisan cakes and Italian meringue buttercream. This weekend I am making a trio of "Cars" cakes. They will be my cakes with IMBC, but on each I will have a road and the purchased toys will be on top. Customers don't want that letter and fine in the mail. We have the ability to educate them. I'm all for the protection of copyrights and trademarks.
post #11 of 37
What is wrong with enforcing a law that is vital, even critical, to our economic system.

Obviously a portion of the public has no respect for the law and since the internet is interstate, they are the ones to make and enforce federal law. Since the internet has become such prominent part of our lives, the violations are not just local. They have become national and worldwide.

I think we should be more outraged over the theft of legally protected property than the enforcement of a very important set of laws.
post #12 of 37
There's nothing wrong with enforcing the laws and protecting copyrighted material. The problem is there are already laws. Another law won't make any difference if it's not enforced. Why not just enforce the existing laws instead of spending time and taxpayer money writing a cumbersome new law.
post #13 of 37
The internet is the reason for the need for the laws. Things such as copyright and trademark infringement become far-reaching because of the web.
post #14 of 37
Ha, let this new one pass and you will be singing a different tune. We have laws that are sufficient, just not enforced enough as the above poster said. We don't need more laws, we need more morality and integrity- laws are no substitute for that. People without integrity don't care about the law. The government loves to tell us what is best for us and violates the constitution all the time- in the name of "the common good".

Did you hear about the legislators trying to declare that pizza is a vegetable? There are actual pizza lobbyists that want to be able to serve more pizza in public schools. These are the kind of people we should trust?
post #15 of 37
I'm on the fence about this law because I think that it's a good idea, but that as it's written now it's gone too far. Even one of the original authors of hte bill is now saying that he's not sure about the scope of the bill.

I had several bakers take entire PAGES of text off of my website and use them on theirs. I filed DMCA complaints, and most of them were taken down, but one ISP refused to do anything, claiming that "they weren't responsible since we didn't design that site." I assume that this was some ISP operating out of a basement somewhere since they didn't seem to know what a DMCA complaint was. I ended up filing a complaint with google because the person had google ads on her site, and I was able to get google to ban the site from their search results.

People are often very slooooow to respond when you email them asking for compliance , so the threat of having the entire site blocked might prevent them from copyright violations to begin with. But on the other hand, the way the law is written now, youtube could be blocked entirely if people continue to upload copyrighted content, even if youtube isn't reponsible for uploading it.

It might get them to actually make an effort to police that, though, which I'm in favor of.

Posting a link to a site wouldn't get your site taken down, but if you take content from someone else's site and put it on yours it might. But if you didn't have permission to do that then you're a copyright violator, too, so tough cookies.
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