Hasbro Finally S-U-E-S Over Scrabulous

« Smashing Pumpkins Want a Little Ringtone Money | Main | Red Lasso Shuts Popular Service (But Not Without a Dig on the Networks) »

Hasbro Finally S-U-E-S Over Scrabulous

Fri Jul 25, 2008 @ 01:43PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Scrabbleletters_2 Hasbro looked hard at the board and after more than a half a year of squabbling, finally figured out how to spell "lawsuit." The maker of Scrabble is suing two Indian brothers behind the popular Facebook application Scrabulous, claiming the game infringes the company’s intellectual property. It's hoping for triple-word-score damages.

Scrabulous, which let its users play an online simulation of the popular board game Scrabble, has earned a devoted following of more than 840,000 users and its removal sparked a tremendous “Save Scrabulous” backlash.

Legal experts point to the Copyright Office’s guidelines on the copyrighting of board games to note that the “underlying idea of a game can’t be copyrighted.” Certain bits of expression, like the board game diagram and the tile pieces, are copyrightable,  but Hasbro’s best claim may be on trademark rights.

The key question is what happens to Facebook. Hasbro asked Facebook to remove the game under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. For a while, it seemed the company had complied but the game popped up again.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hasbro Finally S-U-E-S Over Scrabulous:

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.