Filed under the category of “what we’re you thinking,” the WSL, surfing’s preeminent entertainment company, fired a warning shot across the bow of one Matt Biolos a few days ago.
If you haven’t heard already, let us set it up for you.
Matt, who owns and operates Lost/Mayhem surfboards, one of the most successful surfboard brands today, reposted, on his personal Instagram account, a post from the WSL feed featuring Carissa Moore popping her now-famous frontside rotation. The one that essentially sealed the deal for her in a quarterfinal heat of the recent comp at Newcastle.
As it’s so been reported (Beach Grit here), the WSL came down hard and fast. They apparently reported the offense to IG, who promptly removed the image, while also having their legal team contact Matt directly with some form of a written cease and desist.
Now we get the protecting of a brand’s intellectual property as a lot of money is invested in the creation of a brand and its public-facing messaging, and in fairness, the WSL should not be held to any other standard.
And, as a business owner himself, Matt would be well aware of that.
However, what is unfathomable is the lack of awareness the WSL has seemed to exercise in this situation. Let’s not forget, the enforcement of one’s intellectual property is a choice.
First, as mentioned, it was done on Matt’s personal IG account. Yes, we all know he is Lost/Mayhem but there is a big difference. Which is why IG, Tik Tok, among others, allows music to be used without authorization on personal accounts and not biz accounts.
Second, Matt, through his surfboard business, is about as supportive of competitive surfing as any other surfboard builder out there. Simply, he backs it hard with the huge sponsorship outlay of some of surfing’s brightest competitive stars. In many ways, he is essentially a “partner” of the WSL.
Yes, Matt can offer up an opinion from time to time but it’s usually done in the light of constructive criticism in his attempt to make something better. Sometimes those opinions even come with a potentially negative impact to his own business.
You might say he’s the Mike Lindell of surfing.
(Just kidding Matt)
Lastly, Instagram, and most of social media, especially as they relate to business, is about reach. “Reach” being the extension of an audience through all means possible, including the sharing of content with other like accounts. If someone like Matt is reposting your content and you are attempting to be seen, as often as possible, and as a legitimate surf media source, which we assume the WSL is trying to do, then why would they possibly object to his reposting of WSL content featuring a mutually aligned athlete?
In our opinion, it truly makes no sense.
You be you WSL.