The makers of Scrabble have asked Facebook to remove a popular online version of the word game, Scrabulous, which they say infringes their copyright.
The U.S. and Canada rights to Scrabble are owned by Hasbro, the world’s second-largest toy and game company, while the biggest, Mattel, has rights to the game in the rest of the world.
Not surprising. I certainly had assumed there was a licensing agreement or something similar in place. Yes, I was likely to be confused.
UPDATE: David Lat adds:
If you’ve been finding your own productivity impaired by Scrabulous, however, you may not need to give up the application. It may be taken out of your hands, over your protest.
Can’t say as I’ve ever played it. But I’m not half the Facebook fiend Lat is.
UPPERDATE: More detail on the story, which makes it clear this is not merely a copyright issue — as you can tell from the text above, I was thinking trademark all along — here. The copyright, I assume, is in the board setup itself. And a good analysis here.