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Hasbro Finally Drops Scrabulous Lawsuit 51

Posted by Soulskill
from the triple-word-score dept.
The Associated Press reports that Hasbro Inc. has now dropped the lawsuit it launched earlier this year against Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, the creators of Scrabulous, a Scrabble clone that found a sizable following on Facebook. We previously discussed Scrabulous' return to Facebook under a different name, as well as the "official" Scrabble client, which was not exactly well received. Hasbro's IP rights to the game are limited to North America, and the AP story adds: "Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside of North America, filed a lawsuit against the brothers in India claiming violations of intellectual property. It was not immediately clear what the status of that lawsuit is."
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Hasbro Finally Drops Scrabulous Lawsuit

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @07:36AM (#26143635)

    You are now constrained in terms of which board layouts you can create in Wordscraper which prevents you from creating a board with the same bonus pattern as the scrabble board.

    Some guy has figured out the rules:

    http://tinyurl.com/63fwjk

    I wouldn't have thought Hasbro had a legal leg to stand on with forcing wordscraper preventing users being able to create certain board layouts, but perhaps wordscraper just bowed to pressure to avoid legal hassle.

  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@ ... a - h u dson.com> on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @08:50AM (#26143909) Journal

    Many law suits have demonstrated that the idea of a game simply can't be copyrighted, only the name and IP.

    Law suits don't demonstrate this - it's the law at the US Copyright Office [copyright.gov]

    The idea for a game is not protected by copyright. The same is true of the name or title given to the game and of the method or methods for playing it.

    Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author's expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in the development, merchandising, or playing of a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles.

    In other words, the artwork is copyrightable, but neither the rules of the game, nor the method of play, is. That's simply the law.

  • by quarterbuck (1268694) on Wednesday December 17, 2008 @10:23AM (#26144725)
    The only way out then is to get used to the idea of Comparative advantage [wikipedia.org] . She may be better than you at everything in absolute terms, but since both of you have only 24 hours in a day, it still is better for you to stick together and interact (play games). You just have to find the game you are the absolute best and she is the absolute worst and play for limited time (so that she does'nt change her comparative advantage).
    This is how my economist professor explained the reasoning for marrying an absolutely hot and smart woman.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

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