When I joined Facebook, the best part was Scrabulous, an online version of Scrabble. So much like Scrabble it was that when you click on the rules to Scrabulous, it takes you to the Wikipedia entry for Scrabble. Peculiar, thought I, and perhaps only semi-legal in some way, shape or form.
I find out from Erika, the Easily Distracted One that Hasbro/Mattel, owners of US rights to Scrabble, have sent a nastygram to Facebook. Makes you wonder just how popular Scrabulous is on Facebook (I suspect the answer is, “very popular.”) I think the discourse will go something like this:
We have Scrabulous, ha! People like it.
We make Scrabble, you have to stop, ha!
How about if we give you some money?
Okay! Everybody happy but you, since you had to pay us money.
Evidently there’s some kind of loophole since Hasbro only owns the Scrabble rights in the US and Canada (how did that happen?) and Scrabulous was “created” in India. Seems like that is tenuous at best. Anyway, Scrabulous is fun to play (I very much like Scrabble as a “postal” game where one can ponder one’s turn for a long time) and if people like it, I don’t know why Hasbro doesn’t make a “social networking” site where you can play all their games online.