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WHY am I worrying about copyright laws...?

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
I just went on Etsy to look something up and found literally HUNDREDS of copyrighted items being sold there. From Spiderman to Bubble Guppies to Elmo, Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty, they are all there for sale in fondant, gumpaste, royal icing, on cookies, T shirts, invitations, etc.

And from looking at people's feedback and sales numbers, most of them are doing quite the brisk business selling these copyrighted items.

So can someone remind me again--why am I turning down cake orders that have these characters on them? Etsy is a massive market place--surely the copyright police would have discovered it by now if they really were looking like people claim they are.
post #2 of 126
Because it's illegal.

Because it's wrong.

Because the cost of being caught outweighs any potential benefit.

(Spoken as someone who has received a Cease & Desist letter over a "trademarked" cake design.)
post #3 of 126
^ what Kelleym said. Its not worth it.

Also think about how you would feel if you created a piece of art and someone in the world steals your art and tries to make money off it. I know as an artist I wouldnt like it icon_smile.gif
post #4 of 126
This applies to a lot of choices put before us in life:

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
I love someone with Autism.
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I love someone with Autism.
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post #5 of 126
I guess it all depends on your answer to the question (posed by most mothers at one time or another):

If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?

If the posted speed limit is 65 and a group of cars passes you doing 90, do you join in?
When the cop stops ONLY you, do you say, "But all those others were going 90!!!!" He's still going to write YOU the ticket and you have no defense to what you've been caught doing.

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #6 of 126
I used to feel the same way, and still do get ruffled when I lose a sale or see others doing it too. But it's just the right thing to do. You know, when you have nothing to worry about, it just makes life easier. And besides that, I am just so over these stupid Mickey Mouse and other character cake requests. Where has the creativity gone? Fall in line, pick a number, and get your predetermined party package cake here. Oh hell no. Over it.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #7 of 126
Because Etsy has rules against copyright violation, and when they find those listings they remove them because they violate their terms as well as the law.
post #8 of 126
Actually, I can also add that I have a friend who had some Angry Birds cupcake decorations listed on Etsy, and the Angry Birds people contacted her with a cease and desist. So people do look there.
post #9 of 126
Oh I know how you feel... I get a lot of requests for character cakes that I turn down and then later see my competition doing them. Irks me. I recently went and bought a few of the character candles to have on hand to use when I get these requests. For instance, I'm doing a Tinkerbell cake this weekend and I'm using the licensed character candle topper on it. I do advise the client that I'm using a candle/topper as the character.
Wilton graduate and proud cake business owner under FL Cottage Food Law. More cake photos here: www.FROSTEDChicCakes.com
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Wilton graduate and proud cake business owner under FL Cottage Food Law. More cake photos here: www.FROSTEDChicCakes.com
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post #10 of 126
I'm just a hobby baker. Last year I offered to make a cake as a gift for a young single mother who also had custody of her cousin. I ask what she liked and she said Disney princess. I made a pink cake with purple border and pearl accents. Bought the Disney princess wand candles and a $2 princess crown to top it.
It was no where near the professional quality of the fabulous cakes on CC. But this little girl doesn't get as many special things as most kids. She was ecstatic
and wanted to take the crown off and wear it as soon as she saw the cake .
post #11 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery2012

I'm just a hobby baker. Last year I offered to make a cake as a gift for a young single mother who also had custody of her cousin. I ask what she liked and she said Disney princess. I made a pink cake with purple border and pearl accents. Bought the Disney princess wand candles and a $2 princess crown to top it.
It was no where near the professional quality of the fabulous cakes on CC. But this little girl doesn't get as many special things as most kids. She was ecstatic
and wanted to take the crown off and wear it as soon as she saw the cake .



Good for you. And don't lose any sleep--you paid for the Disney product as a gift.

The issue is this: the Wilton character pans all come with the statement in fine print that making those cakes is permitted for home consumption but NOT for commercial sale. Wilton has a license to make and sell the pans for that restricted use.

Now here's a related matter: I see scans of Toba Garrett books on ebay all the time. I have emailed her husband-agent a couple of times as I am offended that somebody is selling 100's of copies at $2 each. And the listings disappear...and a few months later they are back up again. Wonder why they don't monitor ebay for copyright violations themselves?
post #12 of 126
what instead if I make some fondant details of the character and place them on a sold cake?
I mean, on a pink and white cake, is that legal if I put Minnie Mouse's ears?
post #13 of 126
Quote:
Quote:

why am I turning down cake orders that have these characters on them?



I understand your angst. I get annoyed for a different reason. Many people feel that trademark infringement allows others to use someone's creation for their own personal financial gain, and that's like stealing. I get that point completely.

But the thing that irks me is that these companies (Disney especially) sell the rights for companies to manufacture items that are pure garbage. The cake toppers and candles etc sold with proper licenses look horrid.

At the same time, kids are brought up to love the characters, and want a character cake. So to do it all legal and nice, you use legal cake toppers from companies like deco pac that look like cheap junk. It's frustrating.
post #14 of 126
I can relate and like the other CCer's have said, you don't do it because you know it's wrong and why worry if you don't have to. I work for DQ and I have a small side business. I fight constantly with my DQ boss over copy write cakes, I flat out refuse to let her bully me into doing them, instead she will do them and I sit back and glare at her. If I take the cake order I say "I am sorry I cannot do that for you due to copy write laws. However, I can do a color scheme for you and/or you may purchase the ________ and I will be more than happy to place them on the cake for you." I do the same thing for my business, with the exception of course being for my family and best friend, who I never charge cuz it lets me play and still be legal!

We all struggle with this, and personally I sleep better now knowing I have nothing to fear where this concerned.
Christine

When my wires are frayed I think of shiny happy people holding hands!
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Christine

When my wires are frayed I think of shiny happy people holding hands!
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post #15 of 126
Remember Napster and all the music sharing websites? Well, it is taking years, but individual people are losing cases in the music industry all the time. And they are holding up. The only defense people have is "I didn't know." The courts don't care.

It is not a matter of "if", but "when". Some hungry young lawyer will hook up with his computer science major friend to create a program that trolls the net for clients. It will look for any key words for their client. They will sue you on behalf of their client, take 50% and get rich.

The net never forgets. It is not worth it.
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