Ferrari 'DRM:' Don't Screw With Our Logos And We'll Let You Know If It's OK To Sell Your Car
from the an-agreement-is-just-another-kind-of-license dept
We've covered a lot of stories dealing with the Right of First Sale being undermined by digital goods being sold as licenses, rather than products. It's much more rare to find the Right of First Sale being yanked away from paying customers who have purchased physical products. But it happens. You'd think shelling out a quarter-million dollars would allow you to do what you please with your purchase. Think again.
Apparently Ferrari was none to pleased with the custom badges and associated floor mats on Deadmau5's 458 Italia Purrari. So much so that Ferrari North America sent the self-admitted button-pusher a cease and desist to have the custom emblems removed.Deadmau5 didn't share the actual cease and desist order but pointed out later that it specifically mentioned the badges and floor mats. Ferrari was probably none too thrilled with the custom wrap, which took the vaunted manufacturer's luxury sportscar and turned it into a meme-on-wheels for the Gumball 3000 Rally.
Deadmau5 (aka Joel Zimmerman) wrapped his 458 in a vinyl tribute to Nyan cat, running it in a few rallies and getting coffee with assorted celebrities and disgraced politicians before it went up for sale.
First off, it seems a car company should let its customers customize their vehicles however they want to. Second, it was originally done for the Gumball 3000 -- an event where all sorts of vehicles are wrapped/customized to ridiculous extents.
But that's Ferrari's m.o., apparently. Not only will it get testy about Pop Tart cats trailing rainbows, but it also won't let you sell its vehicles without its permission. The Right of First Refusal contract (posted at a Porsche enthusiasts forum) states that Ferrari, not the customer, gets to say who the car gets sold to.
Customer recognizes that the 430 is a limited-edition, high-performance vehicle and that it is the goal of both Ferrari and the Dealer to offer and sell such vehicles principally to Ferrari enthusiasts who are purchasing the vehicles for their own use, who intend to use the 430 and not for purposes of resale or price speculation. Customer further recognizes that, in the past, Ferrari vehicles like the 430, have frequently appreciated in value, such that used and "almost new" vehicles can be sold at prices substantially in excess of the original Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. While there is no guarantee that the 430 will enjoy similar customer acceptance, and while Ferrari and the Dealer recognize Customer's ultimate right to enjoy any appreciation that may occur with respect to his/her vehicle, Customer acknowledges that Ferrari and Dealer have a legitimate interest in minimizing speculation in the 430, at least and the time of, and within reasonable time after, introduction of the vehicle. Customer, in particular, acknowledges that, in the past, excessive speculation in certain Ferrari vehicles has resulted in customer ill-will and can, under certain circumstances, expose Ferrari and/or Dealer to liabilities over which neither has control or recourse.To put this in the best light, Ferrari (and its licensed dealers) doesn't desire for the rich to become richer by flipping its vehicles. It apparently wants customers to drive the cars, not buy up a few with the hopes of profiting on the price appreciation. It's a noble thought, but it completely destroys the Right of First Sale. The contract says it recognizes the customer's "right" to "enjoy any appreciation," but then says the dealer gets first shot at repurchasing the Ferrari "at no higher than the "original MSRP." How often this clause is actually triggered is unknown, but it basically takes control of a very expensive vehicle out of the customer's hands for two years.
In order to address the foregoing concerns. Customer hereby grants to Dealer, as a material consideration for the opportunity to purchase a 430, an option to repurchase the 430 at its market value (but in no event more than the original Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) at any time within two (2) years of the date of delivery of his/her 430, provided Customer decides to sell, lease or otherwise transfer possession the vehicle to a third-party during that period (the "Right of First Refusal"). Customer agrees to abide by this provision, and understands that, notwithstanding any other terms thereof, it constitutes an integrated and material part of the retail contract between Customer and Dealer.
I'm not saying more money should mean more rights, but it would seem that those spending a small fortune for Ferrari's vehicles should at least be able to paint the vehicle like the General Lee and sell it to old money in Mississippi without the owner having to check with the dealer first or receive ludicrous cease-and-desist orders.