The Punishment for Stealing is….

Monday, July 20th, 2009

We received an email this morning alerting us of a photo taken from our blog and used to sell cookies on another site.

Can you even believe it??

Sure enough we went right to the link, and there my friends were my blue and brown wedding cakes that I made in February for use in a marketing campaign. (coincidentally, this company’s colors are blue and brown as well).

wedding cake cookies

I’m not posting a link, and I’m not even going to give out the name of the site, but if you’re an online cookie business and would like to see if any of your photos are being used to sell cookies just email me at and I’ll email you the address.

It appears that many of the cookies are from some other sites. Including an edible image design taken right from a big NYC cookie company. (Oscar cookie, not Oscar the Grouch. Oscar, as in Academy Awards caricatures of each nominee.) Some of you know the big NYC cookie company I’m talking about. If not, just Google “Oscar cookies” and you’ll find them.

There are several things that really bother me. One; the cookies are being sold for $2 each. Now all of us cookies designers/artists know that it takes a lot of time, ingredients, equipment and skill to produce well made iced sugar cookies.  Two; our cookies and photos are being used to sell someone elses’ product and the customer will NEVER get anything like the cookies that are shown in the photos. Three; the cookies are so cheap inexpensive, I wonder if they are produced in a fully licensed and inspected kitchen.

If there are any cookie businesses out there, I urge you to check and make sure none of your photos are being used here.

As I’ve said before, I love to share my designs, techniques and business ups and downs here. And I don’t even mind if people use my designs as inspiration for YOUR OWN DESIGNS for home use. But don’t copy my cookies and try to sell them, and for pete’s sake, don’t steal my photos to put on your store’s website.

And finally, Dave called and asked that our photos be removed from this site. The photo has been removed, but I’m still pissed.

I promise tomorrow I’ll be in a better mood.

33 Responses to “The Punishment for Stealing is….”

  1. by KK

    My jaw is on the ground! I cannot believe someone would do that! I guess that’s why some companies put their name across images. Ugh, but that just looks so annoying.

  2. by Jenny

    Oh dear. One of the nasty things that seems to happen in this industry. It seems really odd to me as I’d hate to misrepresent myself so I could only show pictures of things I’d actually done.

    Have you thought about watermarking your photos? It seems pretty easy on photoshop.

  3. by Lindsay

    Wow. People never cease to amaze me. False advertising and taking credit for someones (amazing) work is just wrong. Have you thought about putting a copyright logo on your photos?

  4. by Destiny

    So not cool! Good for you for insisting on maintaining the integrity of your shop and blog and for doing it without changing your blog and cheating your fans out of hearing and seeing all of your designs and tips. What goes around, comes around…

  5. by Bea

    I so agree with you! If they are copying someone else’s design, at least they should bake and ice their own COOKIES… shame on them!!
    I’m not very creative, and I’ve used ideas from others, but always give credit and if possible, ask if it is OK to post a photo of MY COOKIES, inspired by their designs…
    Have a nice day!

  6. by lisagh

    You are much more polite and restrained than I would ever be! You’re top drawer as usual, Laura – I admire that!

  7. by Jake & Micah

    I’m so disappointed to hear this happened to you! The same thing happened to me back in Dec. Someone stole an image off my website to use for a blog post instructing people how to make catnip toys. Can you believe it? The nerve of some people. It’s truly disgusting, there is no other name for it. I sent her an email telling her if she wasn’t going to credit my website then she better remove my photos from her site. The ones that she STOLE from me without asking my permission. They were gone the next day. I’m happy they removed your images from their site though. When you work hard and someone lazy just comes along and steals from you it pisses me off too!

  8. by Jenny

    Bastards! (Can I cuss here?).

  9. by Rachel Ann

    This is terrible!

  10. by April

    So sorry to hear that this happened. Don’t know where some people get (or have) the gall to do this kind of thing. It’s very disappointing.

    Have a good day!

  11. by Morta Di Fame

    I am not surprised at all. I am just so surprised you found it!
    I don’t think that you owe them the consideration of keeping their business a secret.
    What they did was WAY wrong! And they didn’t care about you when they STOLE your photograph!

  12. by Steve Topp

    Now I’m just thinking our loud, but would it be Eleni’s?? Oh, did I say that, I was just thinking it. Now, I’m just speculating. I also believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone. I’m just saying.

  13. by Laura

    thanks for all your support guys!!
    It was not me who found this mis-deed, but one of my very loyal readers!
    I will not name this person because I don’t want to give them any free press.
    And, Steve, it was not E who did the stealing, but this criminal enterprise has copied some of E’s designs as well, and claimed them for their own. I’m hoping that E has spies that read my blog! (and I’m sure she does!!)

  14. by Nancy

    People are so rude!!!! Keep the faith. This post has inspired me to go and buy some of the BEST cookies in the world, YOURS!!!! Keep up the beautiful designs :)

  15. by Johanna B

    Your cookies are the best I’ve ever seen. These people should not profit from stealing your images. I’m glad Dave called and let them know it wasn’t ok and that the pictures have been taken down.

  16. by Bridget {Bake at 350}

    Wow…I am kind of dying to know where they were posted. I cannot believe they would steal your photo as their own…and E’s oscar cookies! I’ve seen some of my baked goods on other blogs, saying “look what I made”, all the while, it’s my picture, but to SELL!!!

    When you get a chance, will you email me and let me know the site?

  17. by Cindy

    Ok, I have to admit, I did put a company’s pictures on my website and they asked me to take them down. But I was not posting them to SELL anything–just to make fun of them (mother daughter dresses–one of the top google hits on my site). That’s different–right???

    And, yes, do send along their address so I can go over there and call them names. I’m sure their cookies taste like shit and they’re a bunch of hilllbillies.

  18. by Jen

    You should be pissed! Wrong. Just WRONG.

  19. by Anne

    I pity the poor customer who falls prey to this scam. There is no possible way a $2 cookie could even resemble the art you create. I look at a lot of sites (for home inspiration). It never occurred to me before that someone would be this bold (and stupid).

    You and your husband have a good thing going, hang in there, keep up the good work…and sense of humor.

  20. by ~~Rhonda

    Laura, I empathize and know that feeling you had when you saw your work on someone else’s site. I teach an online class to about 1200 people a year and, a few times, have seen my copyrighted articles posted boldfaced on other sites, word for word, sometimes without even referencing me. ARG!!!!!! I cannot begin to fathom the mind of the person who would do such a thing. Many thanks to your reader who took the time to make you aware. Your blog followers are here for you! ~~Rhonda

  21. by Maureen

    The NERVE, GALL, CHUTZPAH of whoever did that. I’m utterly flabbergasted that someone would do that. Do we need to get the big guns out?

  22. by WSU Laura

    That just sucks and bad juju will fall on them immediately. Make yourself a nice cocktail, go out on your beautiful new deck and enjoy some Laura time. Just wanted you to know that my son is LOVING your s’more cupcakes and wants them for his upcoming camping birthday.

  23. by Ashley

    That’s horrible!

    I hope the picture stays down. I’m sure Dave was a lot nicer than I would have been.

  24. by ElleBee

    I’m with a few others. I’ve heard adding watermarks to photos using PhotoShop is really easy.

  25. by Heather

    I love looking at your site and blog and I find it disgusting that someone has to resort to this.

    I truly feel bad for you and I feel even worse for the people who purchase from this person and find out that they aren’t getting what they thought!

    It’s one thing to admire, but quite another thing to steal.

    Thank you for sharing all that you do! I love your work!!

  26. by SweetSugarBelle

    I have had the same problem. I don’t mind if someone copies my designs to the T, but if they want to publish them I insist they do the work and take their own DAMN picture!

  27. by Harriett

    I’m speechless. I can’t believe people out there would have the nerve to do something so bold. The nerve of them, I’m angry with them for doing something like that to you. Don’t worry, they don’t posses the talent that you have to make great, delectable and attractive cookies anyway. Or why would they have to steal from you. No what I mean. Stay cool, sister girl-but I feel you on this one. Tomorrow will be better. :)

  28. by Jenny

    There is also a way to lock your photos – where you can’t right click to copy or e-mail them – let me ask my husband about this (he’s a network admin – IT guy).

  29. by Alicia

    Laura – I’m not even surprised. There is a cake company out here who did the same thing. She would go to other sites (even professional cake artists) and steal their pictures and claim them as their own. Even people who put their company name on the photo, she’d crop that out and steal it. And you are right, they can’t replicate something for a customer that they didn’t do so is it really helping their business? Not at all. I don’t know why people steal other’s hard work. As a cake designer, I am inspired from many other’s out there, but I do my own work. It’s just crazy. We all know & love your work, so don’t even worry about it. Calling them out was the best thing to do! =)

  30. by Jill

    Definitely get a watermark for your pictures! HOLY CRAP! I can’t believe the nerve of some people!!!!!!! I’m so sorry!

  31. by Bridget {Bake at 350}

    You know, I had a thought last night. If they are selling decorated cookies for $2 each, they won’t be in business for long!

  32. by carolyn

    Love that cookie design. I actually love it so much that I copied it for my sister for her wedding because those are her colors. I hope you don’t mind. They are just for fun for her.

  33. by Laura

    Carolyn, as long as you don’t sell them, I don’t mind.
    But if you do, I’ll find you and I’ll sic my IP Attorney on you.

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