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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Save Scrabulous!

posted by on January 16 at 18:05 PM

Facebook is basically stupid, but being able to play Scrabble online is awesome. And I am positive it turns a profit for Hasbro, Scrabble’s parent company. (Why did I buy an official Scrabble player’s dictionary again? Sure isn’t ‘cause my boyfriend plays board games with me at home.) Anyway, this accusation of copyright infringement was bound to happen. (RIP, Networdz.) But it is sad. Can’t Hasbro get with the 21st century and offer a free online program of its own?

(Thanks, Carollani—and RMC and CD.)

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Yah, scrabulous is one of the best things ever.

Posted by blaire with an e | January 16, 2008 6:17 PM

Stupid. So stupid. I'm beginning to think that we're actually moving backwards with our technology because corporations are too conservative with intellectual property. This is just another sad (if trivial) example.

Posted by bma | January 16, 2008 6:18 PM

I play pixie pit:

what are the advantages of scrabulous?

Posted by LH | January 16, 2008 6:25 PM

It should come as no surprise that a game company will defend its intellectual property.

Some popular designer boardgames offer a free online account if you buy the game. That would be a good model to follow, but might be tough to integrate with Fbook.

Also it's worth noting that Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble only in North America. Mattel owns the rights to Scrabble everywhere else.

@3 - Scrabulous is interesting because it's focused on asynchronous play, games stretch over days rather than minutes, and you often have several going at once.

The best serious, tournament-level online play happens at

Posted by nbc | January 16, 2008 7:05 PM

That address, again:

Posted by nbc | January 16, 2008 7:07 PM

I've been mourning the loss of free online scrabble since it disappeared from - and settling for Scrabulous occasionally.

But Hasbro / Mattel must know that I'm not the only one who would *gladly* sit for hours and stare at ads next to a scrabble board until my eyes fell out.

Posted by Michelle in OH | January 16, 2008 7:08 PM

Yes, the accusation was bound to happen, but it will probably get bounced; game rules aren't copyrightable subject matter. Hasbro should retain better lawyers, because they have a far better trademark claim, because Scrabble is a "famous" mark, which means that it is protected from dilution.

Posted by AnonymousCoward | January 16, 2008 7:17 PM

Your sense of humor is sad.

Posted by boring life | January 16, 2008 7:19 PM

Notice how they asked to have it removed rather than just filing a lawsuit. The Teachers Union in NV could take a lesson.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 16, 2008 7:25 PM

I do enjoy Scrabulous (provided I'm playing against someone like me, who thinks only about building the biggest word, and not one of those fuckers who owns the Scrabble dictionary, and using two letters somehow manages to get 57 fucking points), but if you want a real game, learn Settlers of Catan and play the knockoff at .

Posted by Gitai | January 16, 2008 7:30 PM

"Facebook is basically stupid"


Posted by w7ngman | January 16, 2008 7:30 PM

@9: They asked to have it removed because that's what the DMCA authorizes you to do; the lawsuit comes if Facebook doesn't take it down, or if the authors file a counter-notice.

Posted by AnonymousCoward | January 16, 2008 7:31 PM

if you love scrabble so much, play scrabble. i don't see why you need the internet.

Posted by ghostlawns | January 16, 2008 7:38 PM

Because the Internet is the future, of course.

Posted by Abby | January 16, 2008 7:53 PM

The children are our future, duh.

Posted by superyeadon | January 16, 2008 7:55 PM

@13: Because you can't hide an *actual* Scrabble board behind another window at work/school.

Posted by Michelle in OH | January 16, 2008 8:14 PM

I'm not a major fan of lawyers going to town on people, but these Indian dudes who did Scrabulous were asking for it. From the obvious name, to the exact copy of every aspect of the original game. They even linked to the official Scrabble website for rules, etc. If they are smart they will make some kind of licensing deal so the thing will properly survive and keep everybody happy.

Note: lawyers are involved, so a happy outcome is unlikely.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | January 16, 2008 8:25 PM

@16: That is totally the point of Scrabulous. Love it.

My life has been so happy since the addition of Scrabulous. I don't know what I'd do without the five or six games I have going at any one time. I love it.

Posted by Jo | January 16, 2008 8:26 PM

it's already licensed as an online game. they may not be able to release the rights even if the Scrabulous guys could afford them.

Posted by ironymaiden | January 16, 2008 8:26 PM

@13 - Are you retarded? I'd love to hear your suggestions for a better way to play Scrabble against someone who is not sitting in the same room.

Posted by Bento | January 16, 2008 8:57 PM

annie a unique issue for obama

Posted by whatever | January 16, 2008 10:03 PM

I thought I was the only 20 something y.o. who played online scrabble.
I use wordbiz at the

Posted by kelly | January 16, 2008 10:16 PM

I did a good thing today after 2 months of being on facebook. I canceled my account.
Sounds like it is all gone but no. You can enter your email and password at any time and there it is ready for you. Meaning you can never cancel an account just deactivate it.
I signed up to face book to view a site with pictures from a club I used to work at. I hated facebook, absolutely hated it from the very beginning.

Posted by -B- | January 16, 2008 10:39 PM

You know, you can (or could?) play at without having anything to do with the horrors of Facebook.

Posted by leek | January 16, 2008 11:20 PM

obama and now scrabulous? annie you just get better every day.

Posted by Jiberish | January 17, 2008 10:50 AM

my 110 point bingo goes down as the best thing that's ever happened to me on facebook.

Posted by donte | January 18, 2008 11:14 AM

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