A Brand New Layer, or is it?

By Paige Mathieu

On January 20th, a familiar face appeared on TV and later on social media. This was not however, the face of the new president, Donald J. Trump, but rather a cake. To celebrate the inauguration, Trump had a cake created. Although this may make sense, there is one catch to the plan; the cake was an exact replica of the cake presented to Obama four years earlier.  This cake was originally created by Duff Goldman to present to Obama at his second inauguration.   When Buttercream Bakeshop was presented with the photo of the cake, they tried to convince Trump’s representatives to only use the cake design as inspiration and not replicate the entire cake. The representatives refused, wanting the cake to be exactly like the first, and the cake was copied down to the last star, the only difference being that Trump’s cake was mainly for show and was made out of styrofoam, except for the last layer.


The bakeshop felt bad about replicating Duff Goldman’s cake without permission beforehand. To right the wrong, they decided that they would not profit from the cake, but instead donate money to the Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign supports basic human rights that everyone should have. Based on similar statistics in an article on Foodnavigator – USA.com, if Duff Goldman had placed a copyright on his cake since the design was creative and unique, there is a chance that Buttercream Bakeshop could have plagiarized.  In order for a cake to qualify for copyright, the cake or other food must have a specific design or shape that is different from other food designs. The recipe may also qualify for copyright if it is unique compared to other recipes.  In the end, Duff Goldman decided to let the incident go by simply stating, “Remembering a fantastic cake I made is awesome….”

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