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That Facebook Scrabulous Ordeal

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I’m sure a lot of people have already heard this in the news in one form or another. For those whose don’t know, Facebook is a social networking site where people can stay in touch with each other and on that site people are able to develop applications such as games for people to use.

There is this one very popular application called “Scrabulous” that is essentially a clone of sort of the board game “Scrabble” where the objective of the game is to create words out of letters to score points. Recently Hasbro, the company that owns the right to the original Scrabble game, has filed a lawsuit against the Scrabulous makers over copyright and infringement.

As expected, you have the majority of the fans not being too happy with this and I read a lot of comments on how the company is just a greedy corporation. At the same time, another common point I read was how with so many people using that application it should in hence translate into more sales of the Scrabble game which should be even more reason for the company to not want to shut that game down.

I always try to look at it from both sides personally. Just thinking about it, how would you react if someone say took the book you wrote and simply changed little details such as the name of the characters and then began to profit over it? Most people wouldn’t be too happy. Thinking even more, if once you realized that the book you bought virtually plagiarized someone else’s work/idea would you still continue to support that work and encourage people to buy it?

While it doesn’t necessarily make it right still, if instead the Scrabulous makers did not profit over this then I would be a little more inclined to say that Hasbro should have been more delicate in its approach such as trying to find a happy medium by addressing its concerns with the original makers. Example, since Hasbro was planning to release its own official version, from what I read, maybe they could have offered those guys a job to say maintain the community and attract more users. Just my thoughts though.

Comments to That Facebook Scrabulous Ordeal

  • Scrabulous was one of only two reasons I continued to use Facebook. One was the status updates, which I’ve now replaced with twitter.

    The makers of Scrabulous have a new game on Facebook called or Wordscaper! It is reminiscent of Scrabulous.

    Frankly, Scrabulous got me back to playing a game I’d only played a little as a kid. It strikes me that it’s the lawyers who are winning out of the dispute, nobody else. Hasbro have missed a huge huge opportunity….

    53,000 or so joined the Save Scrabulous group, sadly Hasbro didn’t react like Rogers did with the iPhone petition, they shut it down anyway.

    They have guaranteed that I, along with a big portion of the 53,000 will never buy one of their games again – especially the ‘official’ one.

    Stewart 8/1/2008 11:26 pm
  • That’s kind of interesting how you mentioned that game is one of the two reasons you still use Facebook.

    I say that because from what I seen Facebook is pretty swift in taking down apps that generate this kind of trouble in the air yet they didn’t appear to be in any rush to take that one down.

    Makes me wonder from a business or statistics point of view on whether or not thousands share the same thought you have on why they still use Facebook. Maybe they know that too? Wouldn’t that be something.

    Alan Yu 8/2/2008 12:20 am

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