Posted by: eseeders | November 6, 2009

Ferrari is Picking on the Little Guy

Ah corporations, you gotta love them, always so incredibly anally protective of their brand identities to the point where even their fans and supporters start to dislike them. The same appears to be true nowadays for Maranello unfortunately with Ferrari coming down hard on the little guys. ferrari-symbol

Off and on for the last few years, I’ve been part of a small online community of racing enthusiasts known as Batracer. Basically, it’s a place for racing fans to geek out with talks over goings on in F1, FIA GT, Touring and other racing series. Batracer’s big draw though is its statistical racing simulations which allow players to manage a racing team of their own or a historically accurate team and participate in a variety of racing disciplines. Now these historically accurate teams just happened to have included depictions of various Ferrari’s among with a number of other manufacturers vehicles. When I say that Batracer depicts these vehicles, I’m not saying they give the full technical specifications of each machine, far from it. Essentially all that you see of the machines is a little mostly accurate picture and some info on the engine size and hp. That’s it… seriously there’s not much else. Yet Ferrari saw it fit to threaten to file suit against the owners of Batracer for this CLEAR affront to their brand image (<– sarcasm), unless of course Batracer removed any reference to Ferrari from their site.

Don't get me wrong, I completely understand protecting the brand from the likes of rip off clothing and copying of technical information by other manufactures among a number of other things. But this? Seriously? We are talking a community here of less than 150,000 and a website that is by and large not for profit, what money they do take in from donations goes to maintaining the website and its servers that all really. The owners of Batracer without hesitation of course complied with the warning seeing as how they really couldn't afford to go to court over this. Yet to my mind, Ferrari threatening suit over Batracer does more to hurt Ferrari's brand image than Batracer could have ever hoped to have done. Suffice to say, I won't be supporting Ferrari anytime in the near future.

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