There is an interesting social media legal case going on involving Ferrari. It seems that before Facebook became an empire, a 15-year-old Sammy Wasem created a Ferrari Facebook Page. Now Wasem is 21-years-old and because both the fan page and Facebook itself have exploded during those years, Ferrari has taken control of the Facebook page he created. Now Wasem is suing Ferrari for copyright infringement. Yes, I am serious.
Is it fair for just anyone to have the freedom to step in and reap the benefits of a brand online? Sammy Wasem is learning the hard way that acting like a company on Facebook is not actually legal–child or adult.
This brings to light so many issues with social media. Just because an easy method to creating media is available does not mean it is legal. Wasem appears to be under the impression that because the page he created had attracted 12 million followers, he had performed some type of wicked magic. The truth is, Ferrari has been around since 1929, and those ‘liking’ that Ferrari fan page were liking a brand that has already put in all the footwork of becoming a household name eons ago. Fans have no real way to know who is actually running a Facebook Page, which is an issue that needs to be addressed. Should just any kid on the street be able to make and maintain a social media page in your name? How would you feel about someone creating a page under your brand name that you own and cultivated? Does not sound right when worded that way, does it? While Wasem may not have profited financially, he did deceive fans and utilize control over brand image that he was certainly not authorized to have.
Online or on the road, the Prancing Horse logo belongs to Ferrari.
The Ferrari brand certainly does not deserve to have to fight every kid in the world for control of its online image, surely? While the kid has a right to post his love for all things Ferrari on his personal Facebook page, it is crossing the line for him to run an actual “Ferrari” page, but that is just my personal opinion. Because Maranello stepped in and took control of the page that had been deceiving millions of its fans into thinking it was actually Ferrari behind it, Wasem has commenced whining and sued Ferrari. It is so laughable that I will be disappointed if a judge does not immediately toss the case aside.
I will end this with a fitting quote John Goodman in ‘The Big Lebowski’…”Amateurs”.
Disclaimer: This entry is largely an opinion piece. The views in this entry do not necessarily reflect those of Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals or the Ferrari brand…and certainly not those of Sammy Wasem.