You don’t need a degree in marketing to know that using social media right is an important part of building up any kind of brand these days. And the growing value of fan websites and Facebook fan pages seems to be leading to an increase in legal disputes over who controls them.
The latest example involves Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. Last week, a Swiss father and son sued Facebook and Ferrari after control of their popular Ferrari fan page was taken away from them. In their lawsuit (PDF), Olivier and Sammy Wasem claim they controlled “by far the most popular Facebook pages for Ferrari enthusiasts,” which they created in 2008. The complaint describes Sammy Wasem as an aspiring Formula One driver whose “passion for racing and Ferrari drew many fellow fans together.” By 2009, the Wasem’s Ferrari page had more than 500,000 fans.
In February of that year, Olivier Wasem got an e-mail from a Ferrari employee stating that “legal issues force us [Ferrari] in taking over the formal administration of” the Ferrari fan page. The same employee promised “to preserve and even enhance your role in the Ferrari Web Presence and communities.”
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