In the US and Canada, Hasbro have succeeded in getting rid of the Facebook application, Scrabulous. For the rest of the world, where the rights are owned by Mattel, it is still there. Each has its own version of Scrabble but, of course, it sets up a wall to prevent people outside the US and Canada from playing with anyone else. What we are seeing here is how non-globalised the world can become when copyright laws apply in local jurisdictions. There is a consequent loss in openness.

So what should those people in the US and Canada do about this? I assume we will see Facebook updates en mass such as “x is really pissed at Hasbro.” But will that really have an effect?

Anyhow, right at this moment, Mattel isn’t playing hardball. So that spells (ha ha) opportunity with a double word score. Here is what people in the US and Canada should do? Go to and buy Scrabble and send it to the top of the best-sellers there. This will be legal and deny Hasbro royalties. Of course, if Mattel change tunes then stop doing that and send a message to them.

2 thoughts on “Scrabuwont”

  1. Is there any reason other than self-interest that you oppose Hasbro’s action? I don’t know about the intricacies of the legal claims, but Hasbro’s view that Scrabulous is breaching its intellectual property rights hardly seems spurious.


  2. First, my self-interest is in seeing all of this destroyed so I am hardly pursuing that. Hasbro is my friend there.

    Second, the issue is not who owns what but whether they allow playing across countries. Hasbro and Mattel need to get their act together or get out of the way.


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