Thursday, January 17, 2008

News: Scrabulous under fire

When I first played "Scrabulous," I knew it was strange that there was no official branding. It turned out, of course, that the game isn't an authorized version of Scrabble. And now, the popularity of the application has finally prompted Hasbro and Mattel to ask Facebook to shut it down.

It's not surprising, really. While there's no way the owners of the Scrabble game could possibly stop every single letter tile-based game, it's pretty clear that Scrabulous is essentially a carbon copy of Scrabble, to the point of using the familiar red, pink, and blue bonus squares. The makers of Scrabulous, two guys from India, were probably blithely aware of their infringement of Hasbro and co.'s intellectual property rights, but I suppose they figured no one would care.

We'll see how this unfolds. It should be great grist for our Copyrights class.

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