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Scrabulous Returns To Facebook, As Wordscraper

timothy posted about 6 years ago | from the annoying-but-beats-years-of-court dept.

Social Networks 262

porcupine8 writes "Good news for those that have had a hole in their heart (and Facebook profile) since Hasbro forced Facebook to remove Scrabulous over copyright and trademark issues. The creators of Scrabulous have wasted no time in tweaking the game and have launched a new tile-based game called Wordscraper. In addition to changing the name, they have changed the board look so as not to directly copy the colors, etc of a Scrabble board, and have even made provisions for players to create their own board layout! Interested Scrabulous fans can add the application now. Only time will tell if the changes were extensive enough to keep Hasbro's lawyers at bay."

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to Quote Nelson.. (3)

UberHoser (868520) | about 6 years ago | (#24423277)

Ha Ha !

Seriously, if your app of the game sucks and theirs doesn't, just pony up the money and buy their company.

Copyright broken (2, Insightful)

fluffykitty1234 (1005053) | about 6 years ago | (#24423323)

This is a pretty good example of broken copyright laws. How long has Scrabble been out, 60 years? And because of the crazy long copyright terms now, innovation is being stifled. This is not what copyright was intended for...

Re:Copyright broken (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423401)

Not copyright. Trademark infringement [timesonline.co.uk] . Entirely different legal structure...

Re:Copyright broken (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 6 years ago | (#24423539)

No, copyright too. You can't copyright the idea of how you play the game, but you can copyright the board artwork. Of course, you can significantly aletr the board artwork so that it's different enough to avoid copyright infringement without changing how the game is played. Most game ripoffs do just this.

Sadly, the Scrabulous guys didn't take this step, and they could still be facing a lot of trouble over that. The new game solves this problem - guess they finally bothered to care what minimal steps they needed to take to be legal.

Re:Copyright broken (4, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24423819)

You can't copyright the idea of how you play the game, but you can copyright the board artwork.

There is nothing broken about this. At all. This is, in fact, exactly as it should be. Otherwise, all someone would have to do to duplicate my game would be to change the title.

Game designs and rules are unprotected. Titles, presentation, artwork and appearances are protected. This is ideal. No brokenness here.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 6 years ago | (#24423957)

"Game designs and rules are unprotected. Titles, presentation, artwork and appearances are protected. This is ideal. No brokenness here."

so, who owns chess, and who owns shogi?

and if all you have to do is change the design, why isn't there a boardgame out there at wal-mart for $5 made in china that has alphabetical discs, instead of tiles, with the same basic rules as scrabble?

the only game i can recall having 'dupes' are kismet 'the modern game of yacht' and yahtzee. and kismet went so far as to change the color of the pips on the dice.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

abstract daddy (1307763) | about 6 years ago | (#24424063)

Nobody owns chess, it's ancient. What is your point?

Re:Copyright broken (2, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#24424099)

You're claiming a failure to trademark or copyright chess or shogi implies trademark or copyright is broken?

As for the "why no knockoff Scrabble", it's because people don't want to play a knockoff, they want to play Scrabble. If you want a proper example...
Witness the multitude of playing cards available; every single one is interchangeable, but each one is still protected by trademark.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 6 years ago | (#24424391)

"it's because people don't want to play a knockoff, they want to play Scrabble."

Exactly. They've been stealing Scrabble's design for years and have become rich from it. I hope Hasbro sues them for years of theft because what good is copyright or trademark if someone can steal it for a few years, make millions from it, then say "Oops Sorry!" and then give it back and walk away with the money?

Re:Copyright broken (4, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424169)

so, who owns chess, and who owns shogi?

Nobody, just like Shakespeare and The Odessey. A basic familiarity with the law might help you here. Nobody ever filed for or was granted protection on those items, and if they had been, they'd be several thousands of years expired by now.

and if all you have to do is change the design, why isn't there a boardgame out there at wal-mart for $5 made in china that has alphabetical discs, instead of tiles, with the same basic rules as scrabble?

Brand recognition. People periodically try to replace Scrabble. It happens every several years.

the only game i can recall having 'dupes' are kismet 'the modern game of yacht' and yahtzee.

This is primarily an indication that you don't know much about the games market. Games that perenially get copied include Uno, Sorry, Yahtzee, Connect 4, Mille Bornes, Scrabble, Rubik's Cube, Battleship, and on and on the list goes.

Perhaps you don't understand market forces. Clones aren't absent because they're illegal. They're absent because nobody buys them.

Re:Copyright broken (2, Insightful)

croddy (659025) | about 6 years ago | (#24424655)

Well, the reason there's no scrabble clone with discs instead of rectangular tiles is that discs don't tile as well, and the board would be a mess. This is not a problem for a computer game, of course, but would be impractical in a physical game set.

Re:Copyright broken (2, Insightful)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | about 6 years ago | (#24424103)

No brokenness? You can't copy a game that you played before you turned ten when you're an old man, and you say that's not broken? That's ridiculous! At this rate, everything in our culture now will still be copyrighted/trademarked when our great-grandchildren are adults and we're long in our graves. Copyrights were not meant to be extended across generations. They were meant to protect innovators for part of their lives to generate income, not grant a corporation a monopoly on part of our culture for 6 decades.

Re:Copyright broken (3, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424239)

No brokenness? You can't copy a game that you played before you turned ten when you're an old man, and you say that's not broken?

Uh, sure you can. You just can't steal their title or artwork.

Copyrights were not meant to be extended across generations.

I'd be a lot more inclined to take you seriously if you were at least getting the right branch of the law. This is not and never was a copyright issue.

They were meant to protect innovators for part of their lives to generate income

No, that's patents. Copyright has nothing to do with innovation, and this is neither a copyright nor a patent issue. Please settle down until you have at least a basic familiarity with the laws or case in question. This is a waste of time.

Re:Copyright broken (5, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | about 6 years ago | (#24424473)

Actually, in this case I think the claim was that Scrabulous was infringing upon the Scrabble trademark. IMHO trademarks *should* last as long as the company is in operation. There's no reason why a company should have to lose its trade name over the course of time.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

Budha_man_99 (724066) | about 6 years ago | (#24424227)

I think the point is the length of the copyright. I agree that copyright is needed to protect peoples ideas and inventions, but after the creator/inventor is dead should the copyright still be in place? I believe the point was the length of the copyright, not copyright itself.

Re:Copyright broken (3, Insightful)

Miseph (979059) | about 6 years ago | (#24424341)

"after the creator/inventor is dead should the copyright still be in place?"

In fairness, it probably should. Otherwise I could see it being encouragement for some people to try and make the copyright holder dead in order to better evade it.

Death is also problematic when corporations are able to hold copyrights because it's not something they are subject to. If you're waiting for my immortal corporation to die in order for the copyright to expire, you'll be waiting a very long time.

Re:Copyright broken (5, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424589)

I think the point is the length of the copyright.

You think wrong. It's not a copyright issue at all, and there is no time frame attached at all. The issue is that Scrabulous was a brand ripoff. Game clones are okay. Brand clones aren't.

Copyright and trademark are about as related as boats and cars. Please put more effort into debate. It's really annoying for a debate about cars to have people keep saying "but the problem is the water level in the lake." Trademarks do not, and should not, expire. It doesn't matter if Microsoft has been around for 80 years; nobody else should ever be able to claim to be Microsoft. This is a trademark issue because the company needs to be able to protect the brand. Scrabble clones can be released. Scrabble, the brand, is still S+R / Hasbro's property.

If you don't understand the difference between copyright/trademark, or between a product and a brand, you really need to stay out of discussions like this.

Re:Copyright broken (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 6 years ago | (#24424851)

they didn't claim to be 'scrabble'. They claimed to be 'scrabulous'. Is this the 5 8ths rule? if you use more than the larger half (in the case of odd numbers) or one more than half (in the case of even numbers) of the letters of someone else's trademark in consecutive order then you're in breach of it? Because I see all sorts of problems for microstar and anyone who sells a generic microwave.
If scrabulous were a Hasbro product it would have been called 'Scrabble' or 'Scrabble online', it would not have been a deliberate portmanteau of 'scrabble' and 'fabulous'. Any reasonable person should come to the conclusion that they're not related except that the scrab- prefix indicates that it's a scrabble-like game. Thus; not a trademark infringement.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

multisync (218450) | about 6 years ago | (#24424487)

There is nothing broken about this. At all. This is, in fact, exactly as it should be. Otherwise, all someone would have to do to duplicate my game would be to change the title.

The part that is broken about it is the sixty years. Copyright should be a limited monopoly to give people an incentive to continue to make creative works, not an unending monopoly - enforced by the taxpayer - that enables people to stop creating and simply milk the same idea in perpetuity.

I think that after sixty years - in fact, after far less than sixty years - the originator of the work has had ample opportunity to be compensated for their "innovation," and should give something back to the public who paid to enforce their monopoly. That means letting the work enter the Public Domain.

I also feel that art is as much the act of appreciation as it is the act of creation. The latest Christina Aguilera CD wouldn't be worth anything to anyone if not for the fact that her fans want to hear it. Patrons give art relevance, and play a role at least as important in the creative process as the person who is generally credited as the "artist."

Once a work of art has been around long enough to become part of our collective culture, it should belong to no one.

Re:Copyright broken (2, Informative)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424705)

The part that is broken about it is the sixty years.

Because this is not a copyright issue, there is no sixty year timeframe involved.

Once a work of art has been around long enough to become part of our collective culture, it should belong to no one.

As a game designer, I would like to remind you that in the eyes of the law, for a very good reason, game designs are not art.

Incidentally, Scrabble was clonable the first day it was released. You just had to use a different name and color the board differently. This whole thing you're on about is completely mis-aimed. The real problem here is just that Scrabulous was visually similar and had a similar name.

Spend less time worrying about what should or should not be, and more time understanding the situation correctly.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 6 years ago | (#24424641)

Absolutely!

This isn't broken. Let Scrabulous redesign, re-engineer, um, dare we say it, 'improve' on the game.

I hope they copyright their work. Let Hasbro compete, if they can.

Sheesh. The best part of this is the apparent poor knowledge of history amongst Facebook users. Wonder if they know where Facebook came from, or where the term 'Facebook' originated... Hypocrisy...

Re:Copyright broken (3, Interesting)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424743)

I hope they copyright their work.

Games are not subject to copyright. (The binaries of computer games are, but that's a seperate issue.) This is a trademark issue, and no amount of trademarking their title will make any difference to Hasbro.

The facebook traffic is a drop in the bucket in the Scrabble world. This is really about protecting the Scrabble copyright, so that newspapers can't use the name. If Hasbro didn't say "stop it", other people would be able to say that the trademark was out of defense and therefore invalid.

None of this has anything to do with copyright.

Re:Copyright broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24424805)

No, copyright infringement. The DMCA was used to bring the program down. The DMCA doesn't cover trademark infringement.

If this were trademark infringement, the normal (non-DMCA) legal avenues would have to have been taken. Clearly, Hasbro's lawyers do NOT feel Scrabulous violated trademark, but rather included copyrighted code from Hasbro.

Either that or Hasbro's lawyers committed perjury.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | about 6 years ago | (#24423607)

Far be it from me to RTFA, but the summary implies that the miss-application of copyright laws seems to have inspired some innovation.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 years ago | (#24424211)

If you think that legal loop-holery, and copyright aviosion is advancing the state of the art, then by all means, innovation took place. Myself, I think the purpose of the "intellectual property" laws has a more noble purpose than baiting a legal trap: to allow the creator to recoup the development costs in order to have finances to create again.

Re:Copyright broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423621)

I know this is against the groupthink, and I DO agree that patents certainly stifle innovation - but how is innovation being stifled here? Someone 60 years later basically copying an existing game is HARDLY to be called innovation. Its really just called, well, copying. And non-innovation.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 6 years ago | (#24423637)

Bad example. In this case it caused innovation.

Re:Copyright broken (5, Insightful)

geobeck (924637) | about 6 years ago | (#24423753)

How long has Scrabble been out, 60 years? And because of the crazy long copyright terms now, innovation is being stifled.

If you define 'innovation' as copying someone else's idea in almost every detail.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

Tankko (911999) | about 6 years ago | (#24423875)

How is copying someone else's game innovation? Seems like them having to figure out a different (better) game is what the real innovation was, and that was "because" of the copyright laws.

Re:Copyright broken (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | about 6 years ago | (#24424041)

So copying Scrabble is innovation?

Is that like adding "internet" to an old patent and getting a new one?

Innovation is making the game new, not copying someone else's game onto the internet.

Re:Copyright broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24424807)

Hasbro has a history of having draconian fascist ideas about their licenses. I recall years ago that they were going after people making little test games on a gaming programming help website.

The solution: Boycott hasbro products completely.

DIY boards = infinite cleverness (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 years ago | (#24423325)

So if Hasbro takes them to court for infringing the board design (which IIRC is far shakier than the misuse of the trademark) then they can just delete that. The immediately available user-created boards which look like original Scrabble are, of course, not Wordscraper's fault.

Re:DIY boards = infinite cleverness (4, Funny)

felipekk (1007591) | about 6 years ago | (#24423525)

Meh, now Hasbro is going to be mad. Not only you get more points for making Scrabulous when compared to making Scrabble, now you can get even more by making Wordscraper!

Oh yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423333)

I can see the CEASE AND DESIST / DMCA Takedown notice from here, without even squinting

Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 60 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423349)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423385)

gotta love old trolls ... considering he'd be 61 now ...

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 60 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423425)

Troll-lies.

Re:Sad news ... Slashdot Obit Troll, dead at 20 (-1, Offtopic)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | about 6 years ago | (#24423429)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Slashdot Obit Troll was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

(Karma be damned)

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 60 (1)

unfunnyguy (1324217) | about 6 years ago | (#24424523)

D
      WRITER
              A
      FOUND

20 points! But not enough to beat the lameness filter!

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King, dead at 60 (1)

unfunnyguy (1324217) | about 6 years ago | (#24424545)

And sucks ass that it previewed perfectly :(.

hexagonal scrabble? (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | about 6 years ago | (#24423373)

I googled this and saw at least five different software versions. I presume you could also play on a 3D tesselation, should you be able design a convenient user-interface. (I guess it wounld start to look like sparse building girders.) I wonder if Hasbro has gone after any of these.

Re:hexagonal scrabble? (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 years ago | (#24423537)

If you threw in some pentagons, you could play Scrabble on the outside of a buckyball.

Re:hexagonal scrabble? (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | about 6 years ago | (#24424101)

ooh. that's an idea & a half. You get the buckyball, I'll get the tiles.

Re:hexagonal scrabble? (2, Insightful)

Oh no, it's Dixie (1332795) | about 6 years ago | (#24423553)

I doubt that any of these have reached the popularity or notoriety necessary to trigger the Hasbro Lawyer Machine. Scrabulous was an extremely popular Facebook app, hence why the litigation was directed at that rather than the less important clones.

Re:hexagonal scrabble? (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 years ago | (#24423787)

Let's not forget that Hasbro hasn't so much as a patent on Scrabble itself, just a vague claim to copyright on the rules (which may not apply) and a trademark (Scrabble name, and perhaps the appearance of the board and tiles). If there's no risk of mistakenly assuming that the Scrabble-likes are actually Scrabble, then there's no trademark infringement to answer for.

Re:hexagonal scrabble? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 6 years ago | (#24424529)

"Scrabulous was an extremely popular Facebook app"

Yes, to the tune of $25,000+ a month [cnn.com]

Also the english pronunciation of Scrabulous is very similar to Scrabble. No one questioned why Lindows was sued by Microsoft for sounding like Windows, so why are we shocked when Scrabulous gets sued?

3D scrabble (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 6 years ago | (#24424669)

2D is 15^2 with 100 tiles (55.5% empty).

Perhaps 3D is 15^3 with 1000 tiles (66.6% empty) with same letter frequencies, but ten'ed. Or should we make it 1500 tiles, so the same empty fraction is preserved?

It would take ten (or 15) times longer to play since the words themselves don't change. Or maybe I'd shrink the overall palying cube to 10^3 or 12^3 to keep playing time more reasonable.

The bottle neck is adequate visualisation. I'd like a convex holograph with high transparency. If you selected any edge in any of the three coordinates, it would nighlight that playing surface. And maybe you'd want a pipe view too: Each letter is really a six-sided cube with the same letter on it. They would grow out of each other like branches on a tree.

sticky alphabet blocks (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 6 years ago | (#24424913)

I was thinking if you make some sort of sticky/locking children's blocks, then you could physically build some wormy-branchy play-object by locking the cubes together into words. Then each player could rotate the play-object with their hands to look for good attachment points for future word bars.

The only difficulty is implementing bonus squares (cubes) visualization this way. Thats an important, but not absolutely essential part of the 2D game. Maybe the playing board could be simulataneously physical blocks and a computer graphics representation. The computer graphics represnetation would depict the pink and blue bonus squares. Maybe the physical letter blocks could show the bonus colors when they they occupied the bonus locations.

F- Hasbro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24423397)

If I had a facebook account, I would play Wordscraper just to send a big FU to Hasbro and its team of lovely lawyers. I know what toy company I won't be buying from this Christmas. ;)

confused (2, Interesting)

SirShmoopie (1333857) | about 6 years ago | (#24423403)

Scrabulous is stil available for me, I'm in the UK.

Re:confused (2, Informative)

bigfatdeal (1272820) | about 6 years ago | (#24423453)

Yes, because it was only blocked in the US and Canada.

Re:confused (1)

Kimos (859729) | about 6 years ago | (#24423455)

Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada and it was them that took legal action against Scrabulous. When last I tried to play my Scrabulous games I was greeted with a message telling me that the application was no longer available to users in US and Canada. Presumably, until Mattel takes legal action in the UK, Scrabulous can stay active.

Re:confused (1)

Kugrian (886993) | about 6 years ago | (#24423829)

It died earlier sometime this morning (had the facebook app version of a 404), then reappeared this afternoon. I tried out the Wordscaper app, but really can't get used to the circular tiles. Surely just changing the special placements (double words and such) around would fix any issues with Scrabble - square tiles on.. well, squares surely wouldn't get them in more troubles.

Re:confused (1)

the_weasel (323320) | about 6 years ago | (#24424033)

I don't know specifically what the wording of the scrabble trademarks are. If they specify square tiles with numeric score values, then I can easily see why the current wordscraper tiles are circles without score values.

Re:confused (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | about 6 years ago | (#24424759)

Nevertheless I wish they would do something to indicate the point values. I memorized them years ago but still find it distracting that they're not shown in Wordscraper. And it will be downright confusing to people who are not so experienced at Scrabble.

There are plenty of ways they could do this. e.g., little dots around the outside of the circle, or colors that varied from white for 1 point to intense for the 10-point letters.

Conundrum (1)

omnicron13 (993744) | about 6 years ago | (#24423423)

Now, do I invite my friends to add an application I know they'll want (as former Scrabulous fans)?

Do the ends justify the means?

It could have gone a lot better.... (4, Interesting)

the_weasel (323320) | about 6 years ago | (#24423443)

So far, I like it. The custom boards are going to take some getting used to. I am in one game where every tile appears to be a double word score or more, and we are seeing scores of 4000 in some places.

I much prefer the sparse tile versions, where it takes a LOT of planning to get a good score.

Right now, i don't like it as much as scrabble, but I am willing to keep playing until things start to settle.

In my personal opinion, scrabulous was always in clear violation of the law (I am not interested in discussing the ethics of that), and the takedown was inevitable.

If Hasbro had learned from scrabulous instead of acting like spazzes, I would have switched to playing their client.

They needed to release a client equal in speed, slickness and functionality. Then they should have negotiated a wrap up period of several days with the makers of scrabulous, where no new games could be created, but existing games could be wrapped up.

They did neither, and you won't see me switching to play their version as a result.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (1)

bigtoy (170668) | about 6 years ago | (#24423755)

In my personal opinion, scrabulous was always in clear violation of the law (I am not interested in discussing the ethics of that), and the takedown was inevitable.

If it was your personal opinion that scrbulous was in clear violation then why do you play?

I know that you do not want to discuss the ethics of what scrabulous is doing. How about we discuss the behavior of the folks that even while they personally believe that the program is in the wrong decide to continue playing it regardless.

Maybe I am too much of a goody-goody, but I have a hard time seeing how someone that knows something is possibly ethically gray would put themselves in a position to then support those ethics.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (2, Insightful)

SirShmoopie (1333857) | about 6 years ago | (#24423937)

Acknowledgement that a thing breaks the law is not the same as saying that you agree with the law that was broken.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (5, Insightful)

the_weasel (323320) | about 6 years ago | (#24423951)

I also park illegally on occasion, and sometimes drive a few miles above the speed limit. I have been known file my taxes late, and have stolen music by downloading it. Sometimes I accidentally throw away paper without recycling it.

Scrabulous was a popular, well implemented version of a game I own no less than 4 boards for. i probably have purchased anywhere from 10 -15 boards over the past 20 years.

I enjoyed it, so I played it. Now that wordscraper is available, I will play that.

Those are all illegal, getting caught has penalties, and I know that. I may not agree with the laws, but when I get caught I pay the consequences, without whining or trying to come up with some sort of convoluted justification for my actions.

Not all laws are equal in my books. Murder is not a law I break with the same equanimity as a local parking ordinance.

If you have managed to live your life ethically pure, then I applaud you.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (1)

Jerry Beasters (783525) | about 6 years ago | (#24424321)

Just because you agree with the laws and still break them doesn't mean others have to. What you basically said is that nobody has the right to disagree with a law that you don't disagree with. They can break it, but GOD FORBID they actually disagree with the existence of said law. Something's wrong with your reasoning, and it shouldn't be too hard for you to figure out what.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (1)

the_weasel (323320) | about 6 years ago | (#24424579)

How you read that from what I wrote completely escapes me. I can't respond effectively, because I have no idea what you are talking about.

Where did I restrict the behavior or rights of anyone else by describing my own actions?

Perhaps you should read it again.
 

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (1)

hobbit (5915) | about 6 years ago | (#24423967)

If you fail to be able to distinguish between "in clear violation of the law" and "in the wrong", then yes, you are too much of a goody-goody.

Use this original Scrabble layout then... (3, Informative)

drcagn (715012) | about 6 years ago | (#24423919)

I've just recreated the Scrabble layout. You can play a original Scrabble game on facebook by clicking this link:

http://apps.facebook.com/wordscraper/?action=newgame&similarto=54248 [facebook.com]

I know I'd rather play a real Scrabble layout on Wordscraper than to use anything else. Enjoy.

Re:Use this original Scrabble layout then... (1)

the_weasel (323320) | about 6 years ago | (#24424015)

Nice. Saves me the effort of doing so. Thanks!

I am kinda looking forward to experimenting with a few layouts of my own as well.

Re:It could have gone a lot better.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24424355)

I much prefer the sparse tile versions, where it takes a LOT of planning to get a good score.

Right now, i don't like it as much as scrabble, but I am willing to keep playing until things start to settle.

Here's a tip: create a custom board that has the exact same tilings as Scrabble! I believe this was likely the intent of the designers all along...

I actually registered on FaceBook (4, Interesting)

dkone (457398) | about 6 years ago | (#24423479)

I am not a big fan of social anything, but I actually registered on face book and downloaded the wordscraper client. I did this in my way of protest to Hasbro and their heavy handed stupidity. With that being said, the wordscraper client is buggy (it is in beta to be fair) but it sure is fun.

How could a company like Hasbro, hiring a company like EA mess up something that should be relatively easy to convert into a program. I am not a programmer, but I would think that a game like Scrabble would be easy to make into an online game. Certainly easier then something like Age of Conan.

DK

Would fruit of the poisonous tree play into this? (1)

nexuspal (720736) | about 6 years ago | (#24423527)

In the same way an officer/DA can't use evidence that was obtained illegally, would scrabulous (former name) legally be allowed to reap benefits sown from their illegal use of tradmark/copyright? Something tells me there will be another lawsuit coming...

Re:Would fruit of the poisonous tree play into thi (1)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24423857)

You watch too much law and order. The fruit of the poisonous tree applies only to evidence gathering by law enforcement officials. Read a book.

Re:Would fruit of the poisonous tree play into thi (1)

nexuspal (720736) | about 6 years ago | (#24424721)

Of course it only applies to law enforcement. My post was pointing out the fact that the designers of the game used Scrabbles notoriety to attain the position that they are now in. Not that I think it would be a good thing, but my gut tells me the civil system will work in that matter...

Re:Would fruit of the poisonous tree play into thi (1)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24424799)

Of course it only applies to law enforcement.

So, let me get this straight. You want to know if the fruit of the poisonous tree is a factor here, and you know that that only applies to law enforcement. Does that mean that you believe that the publishers of Scrabulous are a law enforcement entity?

but my gut tells me the civil system will work in that matter...

Thankfully, your gut is not a judge. The law doesn't work that way, and civil court never applies to two corporations acting on federal licensure. Please stop pretending to understand the law.

Re:Would fruit of the poisonous tree play into thi (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 6 years ago | (#24424755)

Yeah. That's not a problem. The law isn't to prevent the infringer from gaining, but to prevent the copyright/trademark holder from losing. They still owe the copyright holder for damages done (assuming they're found to be infringing).

single player (1)

Bootle (816136) | about 6 years ago | (#24423555)

Is there a 1-player only version? I'd like to try it without embarrassing myself (at least not any more than usual!)

Re:single player (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | about 6 years ago | (#24423725)

The nature of a Scrabble like game would make computer opponents far too difficult. At an admittedly high memory cost, computers could basically keep the whole dictionary indexed to allow them to always find optimal moves. Granted, there would be some minor quirks in finding places to *put* those words, but optimal is fairly easy to do. And if they didn't go for optimal, you'd win only on the basis of the computer spending more resources to handicap itself. Not exactly an achievement to be proud of.

I think you'd be a lot more embarrassed playing a computer than you would a friend.

Re:single player (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | about 6 years ago | (#24423897)

You could play single player with only one player. No computer player or anything. You can play that in some official scrabble game my mum has.

Re:single player (3, Informative)

Kugrian (886993) | about 6 years ago | (#24424275)

The Scrabulous [scrabulous.com] site has a practice version available which allows you to play by yourself or against a computer. I'm guessing Wordscaper will have the same thing once they fix themselves up.

Yeah! (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about 6 years ago | (#24423633)

A
B
O
U
TIME

Woot! (1)

minhlish (1336351) | about 6 years ago | (#24423671)

I can finally go back to wasting my office hours... :)

Good Exposure (4, Insightful)

Wiarumas (919682) | about 6 years ago | (#24423689)

I'm sure the creators loved all the press attention they have been recieving lately... additionally, I bet Hasbro regrets not giving these guys job offers rather than legal complaints.

Re:Good Exposure (1)

bonehead (6382) | about 6 years ago | (#24423841)

The flaw in your logic is that if Hasbro was intelligent enough to regret the path they've chosen, they would have done just as you suggest in the first place.

So, yeah, I doubt they regret it a bit.

Re:Good Exposure (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | about 6 years ago | (#24424165)

I'm sure the creators loved all the press attention they have been recieving lately... additionally, I bet Hasbro regrets not giving these guys job offers rather than legal complaints.

I had read a report just the other day (wish I could find the URL. I think it was Betanews.) that said Hasbro did offer to buy the product, and the programmers refused.

Re:Good Exposure (2, Interesting)

iamhassi (659463) | about 6 years ago | (#24424667)

"bet Hasbro regrets not giving these guys job offers rather than legal complaints."

prolly hard since they've already said they made $25,000+ a month from Scrabulous [cnn.com] . I think if I were the guys I'd be begging Hasbro to buy the game from them for a few bucks rather than lose a lawsuit and lose all the money they've made and the game itself.

Wordscraper also wins the word score! (5, Funny)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | about 6 years ago | (#24423717)

Scrabulous = 14
Wordscraper = 19

A better choice of letters in more than one way.

Re:Wordscraper also wins the word score! (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#24424225)

Unfortunately, you can't actually play any of the two, as they are proper nouns. However, you can play "Scrabble," and get a scrabble if you do manage to make the word.

Dropped the ball (1)

Joebert (946227) | about 6 years ago | (#24423739)

Hasboro really dropped the ball on this one.

If they spent all of that money they wasted on lawyers instead on developers they could have released the version that lets you define your own board layout & stole the thunder back. Instead they're going to become the assholes that don't want anyone to have fun & a company a serious lack of innovation as far as Scrabble is concerned.

Way to go Hasboro !

ABBCELRS (4, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 6 years ago | (#24423779)

or ABCFHKORSU would be far superior names...

This is over. (4, Interesting)

stonecypher (118140) | about 6 years ago | (#24423789)

Scrabulous was taken down because the name and visual presentation were too similar. Game mechanics are explicitly not protected by any branch of law. (In fact, I warned them in email six months ago that this was coming, and that they should rename/reskin their app.)

Hasbro may try to sue again, but from here, if they do, it's barratry. Wordscraper is now safe.

Wordscrapper?? (1)

olddotter (638430) | about 6 years ago | (#24423827)

I'm not creative, but it seems that either a) Wordulous or b) Wordmaker would be better names than Wordscrapper.

No, Wordscraper (5, Funny)

DigitalReverend (901909) | about 6 years ago | (#24423999)

The name only has one 'p' and it's from the word scrape, as in "I need to scrape this Hasbro from the bottom of my shoes.", not scrap, as in "Hasbro has always been the bottom of the scrap heap."

Re:Wordscrapper?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24424421)

That's wordSCRAPER, not wordSCRAPPER (nor wordsCRAPPER). Slight difference there.

Screenshots? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24423833)

I googled for wordscraper, but couldn't get any image results. And since I don't have a Facebook account, I can't see how it looks like.

Found one :) (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 6 years ago | (#24423865)

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/31/wordscraper-hurts-my-eyes/ [techcrunch.com]

Unfortunately, it looks not just ugly, but HIDEOUS! :(

Re:Found one :) (1)

Pincus (744497) | about 6 years ago | (#24423913)

I hope they get sued for being ugly! Imagine that precedent.

Re:Found one :) (1)

Kugrian (886993) | about 6 years ago | (#24424397)

It's damned ugly at the moment. The announcement on the front page of the app currently states:

We're putting finishing touches to Wordscraper, it will only get better!

Look/feel will be updated tomorrow as there are minor issues that we are working on.

From all the press they've been getting about it, I'm guessing the makers are getting a lot of feedback about the UI, and will only be a matter of time 'til they prettify it.

Re:Screenshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24424233)

It's right there in TFA:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080731-scrabulous-goes-for-bonus-points-relaunches-as-wordscraper.html

is it just me... (5, Funny)

WwWonka (545303) | about 6 years ago | (#24424223)

...or am I the only one, this far down in the comments, to initially see "words craper" as the name of this app? Reminds me of the guy who named Titslinger who invented the bra.

Why didn't they make it WordScraper to begin with? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 6 years ago | (#24424561)

Oh, that's right. They wanted to capitalize on the similarity to the Scrabble name. Of course now that it's already gotten a following as well as additional press they can feel free to change their name.

Also, for all those that say hasbro should have bought them out or hired them or whatever, how do you know they didn't make offers first? I'm sure those kinds of things they'd like to keep under wraps and not publicly disclose them.

keep Hasbro's lawyers at bay? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 years ago | (#24424725)

Nothing keeps a lawyer at bay, when they smell blood.

The real question is will the changes be enough to keep them on the correct side of the legal judgement that will eventually be passed.

Too bad they cant countersue afterwards.

Slow news week? (1)

seanonymous (964897) | about 6 years ago | (#24424735)

How many stories are we going to have to read about this game? It's a board game adapted to work in Facebook. Why should I care? Christ, you'd think it was Duke Nukem Forever or something.
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