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Thread: Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

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    Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    I see a lot of you are building or have built Ferrari replicas. The 355 kit seems to be especially popular here.

    I was wondering how it is that there are still seeming so many Ferrari kits available when Ferrari has had such a reputation of aggressively pursuing those who manufacture them. Is there some loophole to get around the 'illegal replica' ruling or are the current manufacturers making it by staying below the radar? And, how do they keep attention away from themselves when their replicas are constantly being seen in shows, in magazines and discussed on forums such as this one?

    For example, Jon Watson is evidently building an accurate 355 replica now. (By the way, I absolutely LOVE the black Countach he built - that's what I want!!) How does he avoid trouble with Ferrari?

    After all, remember Rick Lee's (I think that was his name) one off Ferrari F50 replica? Even he got noticed by Ferrari and was contacted and threatened. And he wasn't even selling anything!!

    Finally, what other manufacturers pursue similar legal action against replica builders? I've heard of Porsche, Shelby and maybe BMW, but others?

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    "The manufacturers of kits, skirt the copyright law by makeing slight changes in design.Instead of haveing 10 streiks across the doors the kit may have 8.Also length width and hight are factored into the copyright law.The kit manufacturers who make an exact reproduction are the ones who run into trouble."

    That's what I thought too, but some manufacturers that had replicas that were only partly similar were stopped as well. Isn't that true?

    For instance, Exotic Rebodies got into trouble with Porsche real quick after their sculptor finished the Porsche Carrera GT concept replica (Concept C-GT). The dimensions on it could not have been accurate at all, though the other detailing was similar.

    Other companies making even Ferrari-styled kits were also stopped as well. Am I correct on this? One company I recall (can't recall the name though) had to stop production of their F40-inspired kit, even though it wasn't even close in terms accuracy or even proportionality. (Perhaps some kits are so ugly they need to be made illegal )

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    I don't know how people like Jon get away with it. Ferrari can sue you for whatever they want. Doesn't have to be copyright infringement. Even if they lose they will probably succeed in shutting them down. Either by intimidation or by drowning them in legal fees.

    The two Lambos shown above are different Diablos. The replica is a roadster, the gold one is the 6.0. The vents below the doors are correct on that kit.
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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    I'll bite,
    They are not quite seeking and destroying.

    The people who get publicity get shut down.
    Like the magazines. If you get the cover you are Toast!
    The more people talk about someone on the Internet, the more likely that person will get shut down. (so stop talking about AD)
    The person with an awesome web site is more likely to get shut down.
    Then they try to get everyone associated with that person.

    The guys with bad reps that are hard to get a hold of that I wouldn't do bizness with in the first place still survive because no one really knows how to get in touch with them.

    The patten copyright (can't remember which it is I have it around here somewhere) that the "F" people have is on a "line drawing" of their car making it hard for a judge to look at the line drawing and to look at a kit and not see that it is an infringement.

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    Yep .. don't know what James is smokin :-) but you
    cant skirt the issue by changing a couple of things. If
    that were the case the fact that the car has a Fiero
    engine (perhaps) would justify it not being a Ferrari :-)

    They can and sue those who appear to be making a living of their good will. If they can find you and you cna perhaps pay up a hefty fine then they will seek and destroy.

    The body lines just have to be close to bring them in. And even if they cant win they love trying!!

    Just look at Shelby and the Cobra folks !
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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    Ferrari won the big landmark case that all manufactures use to stop replicas in the late 80's based on "TRADE DRESS" A DEFENCE THAT ESSENTIALLY SAYS THAT IF YOU BUILD A CAR THAT REMOTELY ENOUGH LOOKS LIKE A FERRARI THEY CAN GO AFTER YOU TO STOP YOU FROM MAKING IT,THE JURY DIDEN'T AGREE WITH THAT.BUT THE JUDGE ON THE TRIAL OVERTURNED THE JURY'S DECISION,HENCE NO MORE EVEN CLOSE REPLICAS IF THE LAWYERS DON'T WANT IT,BE IT FERRARI,LAMBO OR WHATEVER,SOME COMPANIES JUST DON'T WANT TO HURT THE LITTLE GUY ON HOBBIEST,AND LEAVE YOU ALONe!!!
    mike > > > > > > >

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    Thanks For Your Replies!

    Thanks everyone for your replies!

    Madmike, that's how I remember it too. If it even remotely looks like a Ferrari, they would go after the replica manufacturer. I remember something being said about trademark details such as air intakes, spoilers, etc... I hope that Lamborghini or some of the others never pursue such aggressive action.

    If I had a replica company, I believe I would limit my replicas to much older, non-produced cars. To me, it is wrong to take another company's design and sell it as your own, especially if the design is still being currently produced. If at all possible (which it usually isn't), it is always better to have the company of origin's permission to use their design.

    I think some companies skirt the issue by producing a variation of a car that never existed. For example, Ferrari never made a convertible GTO, so the currently produced convertible GTO replica is safe, correct?

    Thanks again for all of your replies!

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    I forgot to mention this earlier...

    On a similar note, I just wonder why (if the manufacturers are that intent on getting the replica builders) Porsche didn't go after Toyota for making the new MR2 Spyder so much like the Porsche Boxter.

    Just a thought.

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    Toyota may have enough money that event if Porsche won it could cost enough to put them out of business. just a though. Gene

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    Re:Ferrari Replicas, And The Legal Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by derwin
    Yep .. don't know what James is smokin :-) but you
    cant skirt the issue by changing a couple of things. If
    that were the case the fact that the car has a Fiero
    engine (perhaps) would justify it not being a Ferrari :-)

    They can and sue those who appear to be making a living of their good will. If they can find you and you cna perhaps pay up a hefty fine then they will seek and destroy.

    The body lines just have to be close to bring them in. And even if they cant win they love trying!!

    Just look at Shelby and the Cobra folks !
    Hey derwin,why are you flaming on me?
    The road to life is full of flat squirrels, who couldn't make up their mind!

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