Before I go off on a complete rant let me explain copyright law. I don't want this to be a rant, I want to be informative, but please excuse me if I do rant a little. This is what I have posted on my website :
Due to copyright laws, Steph’s Sweet Treats is unable to make cakes using licensed characters (ie. Disney, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, etc.) unless a copyright release has been received from the copyright owner. This does not mean you cannot have your favorite character at your next party. It merely means Steph’s Sweet Treats cannot replicate the character via fondant or frosting. If you would really like to order a cake with licensed characters you have a few options:
1) Contact the copyright owner to obtain a release for the one time use. Please note that this may take some time and may be very expensive.
2) Choose a cake design that uses a licensed edible image or cake topper. These cake are legal and come in a wide variety to fit every customer’s needs and likes. Steph’s Sweet Treats would be more than happy to go over these designs with you.
When searching online for ideas for your cake, you probably come across countless galleries from bakeries with licensed character cakes, but unfortunately these cakes were either made with the copyright release (which can run in the thousands of dollars), or without the copyright owners consent (illegally). Please note that Steph’s Sweet Treats will do it’s best to match the theme of your party as much as possible using colors and through legal accessories purchased by the bakery or by you to be place on the cake when you get home.
So that means all those adorable cakes that look like a minion, have a sculpted Olaf figure on top, cupcakes with ninja turtle faces, etc. are illegal. Yes they are amazing looking and would be great addition to any party, but if the person making the cake does not have legal permission to sell those characters or logos, they are breaking the law.
What happens when you break the law? Some people and bakeries get away with it for years, or may never get caught. But that doesn't make it right. They are making money off other peoples copyrighted images and characters. If they do get caught, they look at hefty fines or even going out of business. I would make a lot of money and get a lot of cake orders by doing these illegal designs, but I definitely don't want to go out of business and I surely don't want to gain business by stealing. I use legal character items and logos purchased from my bakery suppliers to meet my customers needs as best I can WITHOUT breaking the law.