Sammy Wasem, an amateur racecar driver, was 15 years old when he first created a Facebook page of Ferrari. Six years down the line, Sammy and his father Olivier have filed a criminal complaint against Ferrari SpA claiming copyright infringement due to loss of control of the page. The father-son duo has demanded compensation for more than 5,500 hours of work, which roughly translates into USD 11 million (Rs 66.22 crore).
Ferrari on the other hand has also sued the Wasems for misusing the Facebook page and Ferrari trademark for marketing non-Ferrari merchandise and for sending personal messages through the account. Commenting on the issue, Stefano Lai, a spokesman for Ferrari said, "The issue isn't with Facebook or with our fans but with those who try to use Ferrari's intellectual property to make money out of it.” Olivier claims that they haven’t made any money by selling the merchandise through the page.
The Facebook page in question was created by Sammy, back in 2008. After managing to get more than 5,00,000 likes with a year, Sammy was contacted by Ferrari who congratulated him for this achievement. Ferrari then set up a proposal where they took over the administration of the page over ‘unfortunate legal issues’. Sammy continued to work for the company for next four years after which his administration rights were taken away.
Facebook rules state that fan pages can be created by anyone, as long as they do not violate the intellectual properties and they don’t claim to be speaking on behalf of the company.