i know this topic has been discussed all over this forum and others, but i have an odd question i hope to get answered. let me start off by saying i am a small town cake decorator with my own shop. there are a few home bakers around. i have no issue that. they should have state health inspectors come in every once in awhile. what i do have an issue with, however, is the fact that me and another big cake decorator in a few towns over know about the copyright laws on characters. there is another home baker that will do these character cakes ALL THE TIME!!!! when i asked her how she can get away with it, her response was "i have a license through deco-pac to do them." now i have NEVER heard of this. i deal with decopac and other cake suppliers and none of them give me the right to recreate the characters. just the right to buy their licensed products. am i missing something here or is this other baker just that clueless? i normally wouldnt be bothered by this, but now i am losing alot of money because when a customer comes to me and wants a sculpted character cake, i tell them i cant recreate them due to copyright laws, and that i can just use the licensed cake kits. then they go running to this other baker and she does them without batting an eye. not really sculpting, but more just recreating them (piping, airbrushing, making characters out of fondant, etc). am i the clueless one on this issue? thanks for any input.
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She's either lying or clueless. When you use decopac kits you have to do them exactly like the company has designed them. There was an atricle about this in the last issue of Modern Bakery...They have to go through a multiple-step process to get the various companies to approve the designs that they make, and the license holder actually approves the arrangement of the pieces in the design. You're not supposed to be creative with them.
I'd tell her that first, then just drop a dime on her and turn her in if she keeps it up. They'll send her a cease and desist notice.
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I heard on one of these forums (don't remember which) that if you bought some software or subscription from them (I think Icing images) that you could print licensed characters since the company had permission to use them. As for making them yourself, no. Never heard of that type of agreement without getting permission from the person or company that owns the copyright.
Here's the article: http://modern-baking.com/best-practices/dont-hate-copyright-laws
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thanks for the replies. im glad i wasnt missing something. i dont think i will say anything to them yet. they posts every one of their cakes on facebook, so its only a matter of time before it catches up to them. i will just give them more rope to hang themselves, lol. i have had their cakes before and i dont know how they are still doing them. i guess her customers are used to walmart quality cakes. yuk! and they are also the bakers that will do bigger serving sizes and only charge $1.75 per serving. smh. but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. and thats what i tell every one of my customers.