Post # 1
So a girl I’ve known since high school but only talk to occasionally now recently made a Facebook page for a “Cake Business” she started. I know from her personal page that she’s made approximately 10 cakes for people. They are okay quality, not up to my particular standard if I was paying for a cake, but they are okay. I understand she is a beginner and doesn’t have a lot of experience.
Here’s where things get iffy.. On her business page, she has albums for Special Occasion cakes, Baby Shower cakes, Birthday Cakes, and Baptism cakes. Each one has approximately 20 pictures in it. I was looking through them and noticed that she only has one picture in each album of cakes she has actually done. So 19/20 of the cakes are images taken from other bakeries/people. She doesn’t state anywhere that these cakes weren’t made by her and that the pictures are taken from other people! To me, this is wrong. It’s pretty obvious which ones were made by her, because they aren’t up to par with the others. But still, if I was a random stranger thinking about ordering from her I would assume that the pictures in her albums were cakes that she made and were showcasing her talents and abilities.
I would be disappointed and upset to order from her and receive a cake of lower quality. If she wants to give people ideas of cakes she would like to try, she at least needs to explicitly state that these are examples and were not done by her, right?! I was thinking about sending her a polite e-mail that she sould be giving credit to the websites/people she took the pictures from and acknowledging the fact that they are examples. Am I out of line? I honestly don’t want her to get in trouble, but I admit I also think she’s in the wrong to be passing these off as her own designs and cakes. What would you do?
ETA: When I say “occasionally,” I really mean most Sundays at our church. It’s just occasional compared to when we talked everyday in high school.
Post # 3
@RockyTop15: I would say something, just respectfully and as a “heads up” because she could face legal actoin for falsely representing her work.
Post # 4
Why do you care? You said yourself you don’t really ever talk to her. Let it go.
Post # 5
To be honest, she actually could get sued for that (by the owners of the photos, especially if they were stolen from a business website), so I might phrase it in terms of looking out for her welfare (as opposed to possible customers). Just let her know via private message that this is something that has gotten new businesses in trouble before and you think she’d be better off making some practice cakes of her own and photographing them–more practice, less worry, and you’d enjoy seeing more of her work anyway.
Post # 6
I would let her know. I would be devestated if I was purchasing a wedding cake or anything else from her and it wasn’t nowhere close to what she posted as her own work.
Post # 7
I don’t think many people order cakes off of FB.
Post # 8
Uh, I’m sure she knows what she’s doing is taking OTHER people’s work and representing it as her own. She doesn’t need you to point it out. Not sure why you care, you know not to order a cake from her. Move on.
Post # 9
Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon practice. Just the other day a Bee posted an inquiry about a certain technique used in decorating wedding cakes, and I found the same pic on at least 100 bakery sites. They certainly all didn’t make the original cake.
Post # 10
This is a toughy…
And part of that is because you guys aren’t overly close…
And doing so will put you in a confrontational position, claiming that the cakes you see on-line aren’t hers
Like how would you ACTUALLY KNOW there are not hers, unless you were working for her, and seeing her bake em every time
(To be sure, I got the part about them being quite obvioiusly, not her work, as they quality is soooo vastly different… but I’m just stating the facts as an outsider)
I’d let this one go…
Chalk it up to the fact that there is a steep learning curve for ANYONE starting their own business
She’ll have to figure it out eventually
It is nice you want to “save her some grief”… but unless you know ALL THE FACTS (were there) it makes it difficult to broach this subject / comment
Now if she mentions her cake making business to you first… then YES I’d give her some sort of heads up about advertising (maybe something more “general” than specifics about her quality of work, FaceBook Page etc… again very awkward moment)
The truth will come home to roost soon enough if she gets unsatisfied Customers
I can assure you that with a Business FaceBook page as a major part of her presence / marketing plan, that dissatisfied Customers won’t be shy about posting their comments on there as well (or other Websites like Yelp etc)
Hope this helps,
Post # 11
I would mind my own business.
Post # 12
@This Time Round:
Okay, you bees have been the ones to say to leave it alone (and I appreciate your opinion!) Normally, I am definitely the kind to let things be. My question is.. do I say anything if she is openly talking to me about her business, etc. when we are at church? She’s the type of person that I honestly hope is doing it out of naivete. But it’s also hard to believe that someone couldn’t understand that this is wrong!
Post # 13
Like a pp said, she probably knows what she is doing is wrong (morally if not legally). If she were a close friend, I would warn her of the possible legal ramifications, but otherwise I would let it go. I don’t like to be confrontational, though.
Unfortunately, it is common, so we as consumers need to take extra steps to ensure that we are getting what we want. A previous boss of mine did something similar. Most of the promotional material for the cafe was taken from other sources. For example, the food on our posters looked nothing like the food we sold.
ETA: If she brings up the business at church, asking what you think of her cakes, I might bring up the discrepencies, but not in a way that it sounds like you’re accusing her. For example, you could ask her about the circumstances surrounding one of the cakes that you suspect she didn’t make (What event did you make this one for?). If she tells you that she didn’t make it, you could say that it’s wrong to pretend that she did. If she gives you an answer though, then drop the subject. She either did make them, or is lying, and nothing you say is going to change her mind.
Post # 14
I’d let her know just so she’s aware that she could get in trouble for that. She could be violating copyright laws and not even knowing it. Sometimes people think they can just take pictures from the internet, and because “it’s from the internet” it’s ok to use them. This is oftentimes NOT the case – a business may already have rights to their photos and designs, and using them for her advertising is outright copyright violation. Or the designs may not be copyrighted, but it’s just unethical to take a design someone else came up with.
Post # 15
@RockyTop15: I would say if she brings it up and asks you about the business and specifically if you’ve seen her FB account, I would act dumb and say, “Did you make ALL those cakes? I didn’t realize you made so many!” and see what she says. If she says no then tell her that you really think she should add a disclaimer.
Post # 16
@RockyTop15: I’ve seen my work used as other people’s resume examples ( reels, in my business), and even had my picture taken off of a professional industry site and used to sell cosmetics using my first name that I was totally unaware of and was unrelated to me in any way. Outraegous. These things are a violation of several laws, however, it happens so much these days that she will probably fly under the radar unless she gains notoriety.
If she brings it up, you could just ask her how she’s marketing as a beginner, and if she tells you the truth, tell her that she shouldn’t be doing that. She probably thnksnshes offering examples of what she can do, even though you say she might not have that skill set yet. Otherwise, you’re only buying yourself trouble.
It is totally unethical, and if someone wanted to, they could sue over the image they took. no notice of copyright is necessary to establish copyright rights, as I understand it from my legal efforts to get people to cease and desist stealing my work.