What is Copyright?
“Copyright” is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution.
Restrictions & Fees
Everyone loves those adorable cakes that are replicas of our most beloved characters.
Unfortunately, most of these images are protected under copyright and trademark laws.
Written permission must be granted by the owner of the copyright or trademark in question.
There are some companies that are willing to grant me permission to create a cake using their image or logo.
Hasbro generously granted me permission to create my Optimus Prime Cake.
However, many will not grant permission, and I have no desire to become entangled in a copyright lawsuit.
Does this mean you can’t have your dream cake?
Absolutely not! It just means that we may need to discuss alternative options:
- I am happy to create your cake using a motif design that reflects the general theme, shapes and/or colors without infringing upon the copyright restrictions.
- You can purchase licensed items from a local party store, Amazon, or Decopac that I am happy to design your cake around.
If your heart is absolutely set…
…on having a cake replica that requires copyright usage approval, there are a few things you should know:
You must plan WAAAAAYYYYY ahead, at least 6-8 weeks ahead.
- Written permission must be granted by the owner of the copyright or trademark in question.
- Depending on the person/company involved, it may take several weeks to get a reply, and there is no guarantee that the request will be granted.
- In addition, I must receive the written authorization at least (2) two weeks prior to your event.
You must determine if YOU are willing to research who owns the rights and contact them directly, or if you would prefer that I handle that for you.
- If you should choose to perform this task yourself, there will be no additional fee. However, I do require that they send the written authorization directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you would prefer, I am happy to make the request for a small fee (charged regardless of outcome). The fee amount is dependent on the type of contact available:
- Copyright usage approval by email – $10.00 per email request
- Copyright usage approval by telephone – $25.00 per phone request
Last, but not least…
Unfortunately there are many companies, groups, entities, agencies, etc. that RARELY or NEVER grant copyright usage approval. Below is a list of copyrights that I will NOT be able to reproduce:
- Name Brands
- Including, but not limited to Apple, Microsoft, Google, McDonald’s, General Electric, Samsung, Toyota, Ford, GM, BMW, Facebook, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hersey, Louis Vuitton, etc.
- Sporting Teams / Events
- Including, but not limited to NFL, NBA, NHL, PGA, Nascar, NCAA, etc.
- Exception: Many schools and universities WILL grant a single-use license for certain logos, mascots, etc.
- Video Game Consoles / Characters
- Including, but not limited to Nintendo, XBox, Playstation, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Zelda, Pokemon, Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, Tetris, Metal Gear, Donkey Kong, Halo, Final Fantasy, etc.
- Movies & TV Shows / Characters
- Including, but not limited to CBS, ABC, FOX, ESPN, HBO, Cinemax, Disney (and all subsidiaries), Dr. Seuss, The Office, 24, Lost, Doctor Who, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Friends, Sons of Anarchy, Gotham, The Big Bang Theory, Orange is the New Black, Homeland, Supernatural, Sherlock, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, House of Cards, Criminal Minds, The Wire, NCIS, Glee, etc.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means. Please understand that the best option is to purchase licensed items that are or can be made food safe. These may be found at local party stores, Amazon, or Decopac.
If you have further questions about copyright / trademark restrictions, please feel free to contact me.