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Discussion Forum

Topic: What is etiquette on requesting permission to duplicate another decorator's design????
cycakes 10/04/2012 6:34 PM
I was brought a picture (2nd time) and asked to recreate the cake for the bride. When I agreed to do this, I did not yet know how to google a picture to determine it's origin on the internet so that I could ask permission. Though truly no cake can be exactly duplicated and I was honest in what I could do (especially since she wanted it exactly like the picture but changed a lot on it).

***Now that I do know how to search the internet for a picture, what is the appropriate way to go about requesting permission from the original designer (the standard in the field)?????? I would very much appreciate any insight and/or advice in this regard.

I did find the original creator of the 1st wedding cake, and when I uploaded the picture of my cake to my cake page I gave credit to them by name & location. I said "I was honored that my friend, XXXXX, asked me to recreate this lovely wedding cake inspired by XXXXXX of city & state. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day."-Photography by XXXXX. - Floral Consult by XXXXX. But since they are not a fan on my cake page, I could not "tag" them in the photo. This wording came from another lovely decorator who was kind enough to share it with me.

I have also since completing the 2nd wedding cake (my 1st and 2nd wedding cakes ever, back to back weekends of course & I only survived with the guidance, encouragment and assistance received from you all!!!) located the orignal decorator there as well. Now I understand that the "requesting permission" ship has sailed on both of those cake, but I would still like to do it in the future.

I private messaged the 2nd cake's original designer and explained pretty much as I did above that I recreated one of their original designs (though I did not ask for permission in advance) and would very much like to give them credit for their original design when I post the picture of my cake online. I asked "how they would like to be reference?" I am thinking maybe by name and location, maybe with a facebook ta (or maybe they will so hate the idea and feel I stole their design and my cake is horrible and they don't want any association they will say OMG please please please don't!!!)

Obviously once they have given permission in advance, they would have also responded to my inquiry on how to reference them in the "credits".

trecur 10/05/2012 8:27 AM
I think a simple "inspired by" would be enough unless they invented a new technique (I saw Collette Peters' preview of new things she invented) and maybe would ask for permission but she is teaching others how to do it so I guess I wouldn't ask just acknowledge her. I'm sure others will give their opinions on the subject
cakes06 10/05/2012 10:56 AM
I'm sure you will put your own take on the cake so I don't think it's that big of a deal. I agree with trecur on just saying you were "inspired" by a picture.
cakedujour 10/05/2012 12:18 PM
I don't have a problem with copying a cake as long as you say that your cake was inspired by another cake. As cakes06 says, your cake will have your own stamp on it. The problem comes when you claim a photograph of a cake that you did not make yourself as your own work. Make the cake yourself, photograph it, and claim it as your work. You can copy my cake and if you take a picture of your cake and say you did it, that's fine. But for you to take my photograph of my work and say it is your work is wrong.
sweetgrandma 10/06/2012 3:30 AM
Cake designs aren't copyrighted as a rule and so I don't see anything wrong with using a picture to go by. If you want to give credit go ahead but most of us are honored when someone uses our cakes for inspiration. I know I am.
preetscake 10/06/2012 8:19 AM
I totally agree with what sweetgrandma no matter how hard you try to copy a design,it never is exactly the same...every decorator has his/her own style and if 4 people make the exact same cake,each cake is still slightly different ! We look for ideas and copy ideas from websites all the time,so there is nothing wrong with that...I would not bother mentioning the orginal decorator ...And how do you know that it was HER own idea anyway?;-)
CollectorEJ 10/06/2012 3:08 PM
When I first started doing wedding cakes for the most part my customers would pick a design from one of the Wilton yearbooks. I made sure that the bride didn't see the picture again, since I didn't want them to see the changes that were made in the cake design -- just because it's very hard to make an exact copy of any cake.
Spooky_789 10/08/2012 3:43 PM
I'd be more concerned about try to replicate a cake and having it show up on Cake Wrecks! You know, this is what the bride asked for and this is what she got? If you've not checked that website out, it will inspire you to truly decorate within your talent set.
cycakes 10/09/2012 9:44 PM
Thank you all so much for your tips and advice! True there is no way of knowing, as she didn't respond to me, but from the information I gathered I just said "inspired by the original design of helipops from cake central". I hope if they ever see it they are flattered vs. upset!