About to bake a Disney cake? Did you seek Walts permission yet?
Copyright law deals with artistic and literary creations or inventions such as books, music, films etc, Industrial property concerns with trademarks and patents such as industrial designs, inventions, service marks etc. Copyright grants ownership to the author and bestows them with rights, on the condition that the work created is original and in a tangible form. Copyright law does not protect ideas that do not have a physical form. In other words, creations and ideas that have not yet been written or drawn out in any physical form are not protected by copyright law.
Under the current copyright law in the United States you must attain permission from the copyright owner if you want to use their design on any item, including cakes, in which an exchange of money takes place to receive. This includes TV, cartoon, & movie characters, sports teams, University logos, fashion labels and more.
Making sure you have written permission to use the copyrighted design ensures you and your cake decorator are not liable and possibly subjected to any of the following penalties for copyright infringement:
- The law provides up to $150,000 for each work infringed.
- Infringer pays for all attorney’s fees and court costs.
- The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts.
- The Court can impound the works and the infringer can go to jail
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