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Facebook Scrabble Rip-off Capitalizes on Mattel's Lethargy 216

mlimber writes "The Facebook app Scrabulous was written by two Scrabble-loving brothers in India, has over 700,000 users, brings in about $25,000 per month in advertising revenue, and is in flagrant violation of copyright law. The corporate owners of Scrabble, Hasbro and Mattel, have threatened legal action against the creators and have made deals with Electronic Arts and RealNetworks to release official online versions of the game. But according to an NYTimes article, 'Scrabulous has already brought Scrabble a newfound virtual popularity that none of the game companies could have anticipated,' and according to one consultant to the entertainment industry, 'If you're Hasbro or Mattel, it isn't in your interest to shut this down.' Hasbro's partner RealNetworks is 'working closely' with the piratical brothers, but Mattel says that 'settling with the [brothers] would set a bad precedent' for other board games going online."

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