Scrabble / Scrabulous

avatar Sophist ATL Idol.jpg[Ed. note: This post is by SOPHIST, one of the finalists in ATL Idol, the "reality blogging" competition that will determine ATL's next editor. It is marked with Sophist's avatar (at right).]
This is why people hate lawyers. This is why lawyers hate lawyers. Scrabulous was too much fun for lawyers to leave it alone.
Hasbro has a legitimate issue, because Scrabulous is clearly ripping them off. Facebook had no choice but to remove Scrabulous once Hasbro smacked them around with a DMCA notification.
Scrabble rack Scrabulous.jpgBut there are other legal issues that Hasbro would like you to ignore. There are split IP rights for the Scrabble franchise; Hasbro owns the North American rights (licensed to Electronic Arts for online play), Mattel owns the rights elsewhere.
Scrabulous’ real sin is that it allows you to log on in New York and play someone living in York. Hasbro’s and EA’s exclusively North American products can’t compete, and that puts panties in a bunch.
Aside from Facebook-stalking counsel from Hasbro and Mattel, what is the solution? Hasbro’s open contempt for the consumer does nothing to change the fact that they have a solid case. They’ve even offered to pay Scrabulous’ creators Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla handily just to go away. But as Real Networks CEO Robert Glaser points out, the real problem is that Hasbro and Mattel must merge their rights.
They’d better get on that soon or I’m going to have to go back to anime porn to pass the time.
(Photo credit: Flickr.)

Several of you brought this sad news to our attention, including one tipster who wrote: “It’s gone! And I had a friggin bingo to put down.”
But we were already aware of the demise of Scrabulous. When we tried to access our games this morning, we received this message: “Scrabulous is disabled for US and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here.”
Sigh. Those pesky intellectual-property laws….
P.S. Kash is lucky. She reports that she still has Scrabulous access over in Hong Kong.
Scrabulous disabled Facebook users US Canada.jpg
Earlier: More Facebook Lawsuits: Hasbro Doesn’t Think Scrabulous Is Fabulous
(Threatened) Lawsuit of the Day: How Do You Spell ‘Infringement’?

Scrabulous Facebook.jpgFacebook, Facebook, Facebook. It’s all over the news these days due to a spate of lawsuits. If we weren’t so into Facebook, we might be over it. It’s way overexposed.
Anyway, here’s one of the latest suits. This one is near and dear to our hearts, as it concerns one of our favorite procrastination tools Facebook applications: Scrabulous. From the Associated Press:

The Indian creators of a Scrabble knock-off that has become one of the most popular activities on Facebook have been sued by Hasbro, the company that owns the word game’s North American rights.

You might think this will give you the opportunity to break your Scrabulous habit and stop wasting so much time on Facebook. Not so fast — Hasbro conveniently launched its own version and hopes to keep you hooked:

The suit against Scrabulous’s creators comes less than two weeks after the release of an authorized version of Scrabble for Facebook.
Hasbro said in its lawsuit that Scrabulous violates its copyright and trademarks. Separately, Hasbro asked Facebook to block the game.

(Lat, let’s not start a new game until they figure this out. I shall savor my recent victory for now.)
More Facebook legal news, and a reason to create a Facebook profile if you haven’t already, after the jump.

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