And we were just about to play on a triple word square.

A while back, Hasbro was itching over the oddly similar and highly addictive Scrabulous that took Facebook users by storm. Hasbro wanted Facebook to the block the application, and it wasn’t until recently that the Scrabulous makers pulled their own game off North American users’ Facebook. (Side note: Hasbro owns Scrabble in North America, and everywhere else it’s Mattel as big momma.)

The New York Times mentioned the story today, and the Chron even deigned to throw in a “Sex and the City” allusion in the same breath. The Chron highlighted the interesting copyright aspect of the conflict:

“The success of Scrabulous on Facebook and the traffic it generated is seen as a big opportunity. Why would Hasbro and EA give up that opportunity to another entity?” (Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets) said.

Neil Smith, a San Francisco attorney who specializes in copyright and trademark law, said the situation is unusual because the lawsuit was filed against a company based outside the United States.

“The international aspect of this is really mind-boggling,” Smith said. “They sued in India where Mattel would have the copyrights, while their biggest concerns are the United States and Canada.”

Ah, what we wouldn’t give right now to be in Paris, gorging ourselves on wine and cheese, and playing a few rounds of our favorite word game. Quel dommage.

Some Facebookers are taking it to the next level with protest groups and a case of hacking mischief. The beta version of Scrabble was out for the count after a “malicious attack” coinciding with the untimely death of Scrabulous. What’s a college kid to do? Well, OTR mourned the loss yesterday, but perhaps a boycott/campaign is more your cup of tea.

Just don’t go climbing up any trees, a’ight?

Image Source: Colby Stuart under Creative Commons
B-u-m-m-e-r for Scrabulous fans [Chron]
Only a Game? A Fight Over Scrabble Has Web Fans Fuming [NY Times]
Scrabulous Is No Longer On Facebook [OTR]

Earlier: Hasbro Does Not Find Scrabulous So Fabulous: Application Might Go

krista said:
Jul 31, 2008 at 11:22 am

You let our game go inactive, and now? Now it’s just dust in the wind! *sniff*