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Herzlia, the "island" 2015

To copy or not to copy

February 14, 2013

This question of copying vs "being inspired" by other people's work keeps surfacing in cake designers web groups such as Facebook and others, and I feel the need to express my personal opinion on this matter.

It is very flattering when  cakes or other works of mine are being copied. Yet no one ever managed to copy me one by one, and even if they did, some just don't have an imagination or vision. What to do?

Once, at the beginning of my career, I even copied a Debbie Brown cake  for a client's specific request and felt quite bad about it. The cake appeared on my previous site with clear and obvious credit. It did not happen again - today I refuse to copy because it blocks my creativity.

As a rule, anyone who conducts workshops should bear in mind that people come to the classes to learn but also to teach it further. I often see my students uploading photos from "their own" classes that were copied from me one by one (syllabus, work flow, recipes etc.) So what? After all, I did get paid. I am saying again that if they copied me, I probably did something good. 
It would be nice though if people did not copy me exactly, but develop something of their own, or give credit and show some ethics, but unfortunately some just don't have it in them. 

After all, it would be unthinkable that professional culinary schools or any of the wonderful teachers in the world I studied from (for a great deal of money) would forbid me to teach further. Isn't that why people come to my workshops?  Because I learned from the best?

Anyone who wants to copy me is welcome. Just remember to respect the profession, your students, your colleagues and especially yourself!
Before you set out to teach and charge for it, practice, master the work with your eyes closed, be prepared for questions about raw materials and equipment, and remember that there are no shortcuts.

And one more word for all those who complain that their cakes are being copied, especially those who know how to make beautiful TV programs character cakes - you are copying no less.

As for being "inspired by",  this is just another word for copy so cut the bla bla....

(and remember that some actually do have rights reserved, so be careful).

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