Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Lawyers" for 63 points!

Well, they finally did it, Scrabulous is down. The following message gives a hint:

"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."

US & Canada is of course the territory covered by Hasbro's copyright on the Scrabble game. EA licensed that property and launched Scrabble for Facebook earlier this month. My guess is that someone had a "pull it down by end of July, please" notice and well, it's the end of the month.

LATimes has more detail here.

Mattel, who has Scrabble rights for rest of world, is suing the Scrabulous developers in India (where they hail from) and has launched their own game for folks in their territories.

They will of course win, and we'll be stuck with two versions of scrabble for different regions, and an inability to play with friends overseas.

Hasbro, Mattel and EA win. RJ Software loses. However, there are other casualties. The end user loses, and Facebook loses. However small a stain on their service this might be, it's still a loss: A social network app that bifurcates the members of the network. It's unfortunate there couldn't be a more win-for-all solution that came out of this.

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