A 15-year-old created a Ferrari Facebook page back before it was a social media empire, and it grew so successful that the people in Maranello wanted it. So they took it. But Ferrari might not have actually been allowed to do that.
Sammy Wasem, according to his own fan page, is a Swiss Indian race driver and the "Co-Creator & Co-Editor of the largest Ferrari Facebook network with over 12 million Fans." And apparently Ferrari is still his favorite car comapny, despite the legal hell they're putting him through.
According to Bloomberg, Sammy Wasem, now 21, has filed a criminal complaint against Ferrari alleging copyright infringement. Ferrari has already sued Sammy and his father, Olivier Wasem, for misusing the company's trademarked images.
Once it got wind of the page Wasem created, Ferrari in March 2009 congratulated him and his father on their efforts on the Ferrari Facebook page, but said "legal issues force us in taking over the formal administration of the fan page."
The Wasems say that while they agreed to make their page the official Ferrari page, the company began tapping others to manage it without their knowledge.
All of this also raises new questions about what a company can actually take control of on social media. Wasem was within his rights to start a fan page, but should Ferrari compensate him for the more than 5,000 hours of work he and his father say they've put into the site?
Other brands have shown it's possible to make nice with your fans, let's see what they do here.
Photo via @SammyWasem