Back in May, I wrote a post about copyright restrictions, as they apply to bakeries and our ability to make "Character Cakes."
We get requests every day for cakes or cupcakes with the likeness of Elmo, Hello Kitty, Superman, Batman, and countless other "characters." Many folks have a hard time believing we could actually get sued for copyright infringement just for making a cake. It is hard to explain the issues when there are so MANY photos of character cakes on the internet, or to imagine that many are illegal.
So instead of focusing on the negative, here are a couple of examples, of what we CAN (and did) do...
llama, llama, red pajama is a book by Anna Dewdney, and she owns the copyright. This means we cannot reproduce the character of Baby Llama or Mama Llama -- for commercial purposes --without her written permission. What can we do? A bed with a quilt. Anyone who has read the book will recognize the quilt on the bed, and you can purchase a plush toy to put next to the cake, which would remove any remaining doubt.
The characters from Toy Story ("Infinity and beyond!") are off limits. Disney employs an entire staff of folks to protect their rights. But the patterns and general style of the movie can be made into cake, and a plethora of licensed figures can be purchased to place on or around a cake.
Which is pretty darned cute...
So all is not lost when it comes to licensed and copyrighted figures, there is a lot we CAN do.
Just don't ask us to break the law.