Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

I was asked to make a Minnie Mouse theme cake.   I was wondering if I would get in trouble for using these trademark characters from Disney.   It will be obvious that the theme is based on Minnie Mouse if I use red with white dots and black round shape with ears, and adding a red or pink bow.

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Disney is notorious for searching out copyright infringements.  Just Google it and you'll see.
I've found the best route is to use store-bought figures (that way Disney gets their money from your purchasing the items) and then build a cake that goes with the theme.  Good luck!
Thank you for your replies.   I've seen many Minnie Mouse cakes on the web including the face and all, but I certainly don't want to cross the line.   I'm just starting my business and not making much money anyway.   I will only do the background and stay away from the character shape.
there are waaay too many folks posting online when they've done copyrighted images. I wouldn't advertise doing so!
Oh I totally agree that the photos are everywhere.  Everyone uses Social Media these days.   I see many many Licensed character cakes on web.  I'm confused about that.   I noticed that Wilton sells 3D Winnie the Pooh Pan set.   Is that for home use only and not to satisfy customer's demands?   Of course, Wilton doesn't say that on their store...
The character pans you buy in the store are only supposed to be used for home baking and not for sale.  At the very bottom of the instructions for these pans you'll see one line that says "For home use only."
How do you find characters are licensed or not?
Pretty much any popular characters you see on T.V., in movies or in books are trademarked and copyrighted. (You'll usually see a "c" in a circle or a TM next to the name on print materials.)  Unless you yourself create a unique character, it's probably trademarked. :)
So the same rules apply for the Video Game characters like Mario Brothers, correct?
Yes they do.

Many of the cakes you'll see on here (like mine) are done for friends and family - so we're not selling them commercially, therefore they are being used for "home use".  I suppose if the companies wanted to get really picky about it, they could sue us, but I think it would cost them more to file the suits than they'd be able to get out of us home bakers so they don't bother.  It's when large commercial bakeries, and people who legally sell cakes out of their homes, routinely infringe on copyright laws that the big corporations like Disney get bent out of shape.  The rule of thumb (for me anyway) is, if you aren't sure then don't do it.

 

Disclaimer (to be read in that really fast announcer voice): Eileen S. is not a lawyer, nor does she work for a large corporation that has trademarked characters.  Any statements, comments, opinions and advice given by Eileen should not be taken as law.  Please seek actual legal council if you are unsure.  Batteries not included.  Ken doll sold seperately. 

Thank you Eileen :)

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