The boy created a Facebook page dedicated to Ferrari, and over time, it became the official fan group of the company. However, the creator was left with nothing and now wants $ 11 million in payment for the thousands of hours spent in front of the computer.
Boyish dreams of the world's most famous brand, Ferrari Prancing Stallion. Passion nurtured on the pages of a social network. And after the legal war and shattered ideals. All this is in the story of Sammy Wasem and his Facebook page about Maranello's house. There was also room for fierce debate over intellectual property rights, the protection of brands and the use of new means of exchanging information.
The official Ferrari Facebook page.
Bloomberg, an American agency, described how Sammy Washam created a Facebook page about Ferrari when he was only fifteen. Now, six years later, two parties were involved in the lawsuit: Sammy and his father Oliver filed a copyright infringement lawsuit after the Prancing Stallion took control of their site. In turn, representatives of Ferrari accused the family of illegally using the brand: for example, in advertising products not related to Ferrari, as well as in using the brand for personal purposes, such as sending invitations to Sammy Washam's eighteenth birthday.
"They have no conscience, they had the guts to destroy boyish dreams"Sammy said in an interview. "The problem is not with Facebook or our fans, the problem is with people seeking to make money on the Ferrari brand," answered Maranello. However, the Watham family did not make money on the site and did not sell anything online.
Bloomberg emphasizes that the approach of the car home in this case, its participation in the lawsuit, is the opposite of the Coca-Cola decision, which in a similar situation chose to attract fans who created web pages. In general, it’s worth starting with the fact that according to Facebook rules, participants can create fan groups of their favorite brands, while the official pages must be managed by the company. Father and son Watham (who, by the way, are also amateur pilots) received in March 2009 the first letter from Ferrari: Maranello House congratulated them on their success in activities on a social network, where in just a year they managed to attract 500 thousand subscribers. The Italians wrote there that "unfortunately, legal norms force us to formally assume the rights of the administrators of the fan group." According to the independent lawyer Joris van Manen, who consulted with an American agency, no one has the right to select a site in this way.
However, Watham agreed to make his page the official Ferrari page. But then Maranello decided to appoint other site administrators, without the knowledge of the creators. In exchange, they made an offer of eternal membership in the Club of Scuderia and the provision of the right to use logos. For four years, father and son continued to work and develop the page without signing any documents, even financial ones. As a result, they lost the right to manage the page and in February 2013 they filed a lawsuit against Ferrari demanding compensation for 5500 hours of work on the page, which is no less than 11 million dollars. But, according to lawyer van Manen, their mistake was that they did not sign the contract - with financial details, before agreeing to make their page official. The lawsuit is currently pending before the Geneva court.