One issue that is ‘Marmite’ in the cake business and that is copyrighted and copying cakes.
(For those outsides of the UK Marmite is a thick black spread which some like to put on toast.)
My views on copying and copyrighted cakes are clear.As a professional cake business owner, I recommend you should not be breaching copyright or copying cakes that have been uniquely designed without correct permission!
If you have read my No.1 Best Selling Book ‘Cake Biz Success‘ you will know that I am a straight talker.
Your cake business success is my priority, honestly. My book is crammed with advice to ensure you reach that success in your cake business.
I’m sorry if you don’t like my stance on copying cakes or my other strong views such as ‘ Flowers on Cakes’.I truly want you to succeed in your cake business.
So let’s take the easiest subject first.
The list of copyright and licensed cake designs is endless. It includes Disney, Channel, Louis Vuitton, The Walking Dead, Pudsey Bear, to name but a few.
All these cakes require you to buy a license in order to reproduce their logos or images for profit. Yes, and that includes Harry Potter cakes too.
Yes, I agree, you do see Mickey Mouse, Frozen and Minion cakes all over Facebook. You will continue to see them, but unless you have purchased a license/permission from their respective copyright owners, you are liable to be sued by those companies.
They wouldn’t dare I hear you saying!
Well, it is your decision, but you are not going to reach the dizzy heights of success doing that.
If you plotted the likelihood of these license holders, such as Disney or Loius Viton, coming after you this in terms of a risk, I think the probability of you being sued is very low, but the punishment, if you were to be sued, would be very high in terms of cost.
It is not worth the risk I would say and it does not say high-end cake business!
Yes, Minion cakes are not going to take you to your cake biz success !
I did have one of my ‘Cakepreneurs’ ask me the other day if unicorns were copyrighted. To my mind, I am sure they are not, The current trend for Unicorn cakes gets my blessing.
I think that is enough about a rather black and white, open and shut issue of copyright and licensed cakes.
Now let’s talk about the biggest issue which features every week on a cake forum somewhere. Copying someone else’s cake design!
Copying cakes is bad for your brand. It will not lead to success in the cake business.
Since the internet grew, cake customers have been approaching cake businesses with pictures of cakes asking for a quote. Asking you to replicate the cake.
This is clearly copying and something I would not do. Copying cakes is wrong if deliberate and knowingly done.
Now there are lots of cakes out there that are along a theme such as a drip or naked cake, etc. The owner of the original design will never be identified. This is not copying cakes.
There are other cakes, which are again not bespoke designs either. The chances of finding the original designer may be impossible. Therefore how can you be copying another cake artists design, when Google and Pinterest are flooded with different versions of this cake.
No, the copying of cakes I am referring to is the blatant copying of another cake businesses design. This is rife particularly in the wedding cake market.
I suggest that if you are shown a picture of a cake, ascertain where the customer first saw the cake. Try to locate the designer and seek permission to replicate the cake.
Even easier is to note the design, colours, materials, style and create your own design to complement the customer’s cake request.
Now I find that most cake customers are fine with this and completely understand. I will not copy another cake makers design.
What really annoys me though is a cake business, or cake maker, that use another’s cake maker’s image. I have seen it on Facebook too many times.
It is unlawful, and it is theft, and a bloody cheek to boot!
I suggest that in order to protect yourself from ‘image theft’ you place an ‘intellectual property disclaimer’ on your website. Inform others that the cake images are watermarked as your own. That they are your intellectual property, and cannot be used or displayed by another person, without your permission.
It really does upset me because I know the hard work, effort and expense some of these cake businesses have gone to. The design and photographs of their cakes have taken time and money. Then to see them pop up on someone else’s Facebook or website!
I do go into detail about this in my book ‘Cake Biz Success‘
Therefore, to prevent this happening please watermark all your cake pictures too. Right through the centre of the picture! Don’t let them steal your work.
It used to be quite a technical nightmare to watermark your cake photographs. Fortunately, there are many apps available these days and therefore it is so easy.
I am currently using an app called ‘My Watermark’ on my iPhone to watermark photographs. There are many other apps like Livecollage , which are also free.
Quite often you see a plaque or watermark in the top corner, or at the bottom of a cake picture. This can easily be cropped off the image!
So please protect your cake images with a watermark and an intellectual property disclaimer.
If you would like more help and advice please get in touch. Download my Amazon No.1 Best Selling Book ‘Cake Biz Success‘ for only £5.99 for Kindle for even more great advice. Find out a bit more about the best selling book
The book is also available in paperback ‘Cake Biz Success‘
My book took 6 months to write. It is packed with 20 years of cake business experience. I wrote the book in order to help you achieve success in the cake business.
The cake business can be tough. Anything that gives you the learning and the mindset to reach your own cake business success can’t be bad..Especially at less than the price of most Mcdonalds meals. Only £5.99. It is also available in paperback.
Much Love and Fondant Regards
The Cake Biz Coach