Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scrabble sees Scrabulous as a Risk to their Monopoly

No, I didn't come up with that catchy title, but I wish I had. So there's no more Scrabulous. Sort of. Despite what *think* you may have learned in the past few years, FACEBOOK IS NOT THE INTERNET. (hint: you can play here) Yes, I know playing through Facebook is *so* much easier, and I now really have zero reason to ever visit Facebook again.

So these developers took a 60-year-old game, made a better online version than even Hasbro did, and get sued. You know what I might consider doing if I were Hasbro? Getting these people to develop more web games for you. Or maybe I'd at least agree not to sue them if they shared some of their ad revenue. And especially because your own application happens to completely SUCK. I mean, who would not want Facebook versions of Risk, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Axis and Allies, Clue, etc. That's as close to a gold mine as you're going to get (in terms of online ad impressions, anyway). You're taking a social-networking site where you can already fine-tune your ads, and you're forcing users to visit your page (containing the game) everytime it's their turn. But instead of this, you'd rather just discourage everyone from improving on your game? Good riddance!

I haven't read any legal complaints, but at face value this appears to be a trademark issue, not a copyright issue. You can't copyright a game. Even this NYTimes blog entry is confused (and hence confusing - for example it claims they are suing under the DMCA, though the DMCA does not cover trademark).

Also, this takedown could just be part of a rebranding - scrabulous could come back, just under "new ownership" as part of a settlement.

EDIT: Finally found the actual complaint - more later.


knielsen said...

Next time I see you I'm going through down some major reality-Scrabble on your ass.

antonymous said...

I would totally have won that game too, maybe! Oh, and how are those ChiSox doing?

knielsen said...

Sounds like someone's a little jealous of the CQ.

antonymous said...

Carlos can fondle his junk all he wants, it won't keep the Sox in first. Keep dreamin' girl!