Scrabulous vs Hasbro – The Second Coming
It looks like the Scrabulous vs copyright holders battle is about to rear it’s ugly head again – over 7 months after the argument first emerged. According to the BBC, American Scrabble copyright owners Hasbro have upped the stakes and are suing the makers of Scrabulous (Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla) for copyright infringement.
Despite trying to act as mediators for the past few months, it seems that Facebook may get caught in the cross-fire as well – as a platform host for an illegal application, they could find themselves at the sharp end of a lawsuit themselves. A spokesperson for Facebook (a rare thing indeed, in the opinion of this blogger!) said:
"Over the past year, Facebook has tried to use its status as neutral platform provider to help the parties come to an amicable agreement. We’re disappointed that Hasbro has sought to draw us into their dispute."
After the original issue arose, both copyright owners (Hasbro in the States, Mattel for the rest of the world) both got smart and developed their own editions of the game for the Facebook platform. Mattel’s version, which hit the social network several months ago, aren’t choosing to take part in the current legal action, though they may choose to depending on the results of Hasbro’s action.
Whilst it is great that the official versions of the app have been made, it is the opinion of this blogger that the games giants should concentrate their efforts in trying to close down Scrabulous by ensuring their apps are more popular than the young pretender – surely that is in the best interests of gamers?