Friday, April 1, 2011
Over the weekend, Chaddy found a group on Facebook called Stop the Cake Thief. It's a group where you can "out" these unscrupulous people that would take another's cake pictures and present them as their own.
He still had the link to the blog, so he decided to list it on the group so that others might see if their content had been stolen too. Within a day or two, a few people commented that they recognized some cakes. But then someone commented that not only had someone stolen her cake but that someone else had stolen it again by claiming it as their own! And the claimer was me!! It was the first time I had been accused of doing something un-cake-ethical. The other decorator was accusing us of design theft. Chad looked at the 2 photos and while they were entirely different cakes, one was definitely inspired by the other. Chad quickly worked things out with the lady and wound up giving her a shout out on the post thanking her for the inspiration.
Anytime my family sees a cute cake, they send me a picture. Not to mention that I get e-mails and printed pictures from clients every week of cakes they like that will inspire their own cake. If a client is looking for cake ideas, I generally direct them to flickr. They never provide me with the original baker (or the price!). I'm absolutely sure this is where this lady's cake came from.
If I know who did the original cake, I like to give them credit, but as I stated before, I usually don't know. If another baker does a cake that I came up with originally, it really doesn't bother me. Odds are, you aren't near enough to me to be a competitor, and if you are and can do the cake better, more power to you!
I think there's a huge difference between design theft and content theft, and to be clear, Stop the Cake Thieves focuses solely on photo/content theft, not design theft. But I do have a renewed sensitivity to it and I will try harder to give proper credit when and where I can.
Have any of you ever had your actual photos stolen and presented as your own?
What are your thoughts on people using one of your cakes as inspiration for their own?
For the record, I got the graphic above from iStockPhoto.