Face the Board

According to an article I saw today on the BBC news website, the copyright owners of “Scrabble” are pressing Facebook to close down Scrabulous, their on-line “Scrabble-esque” game.

I can sort-of see their point: if it was set up without their permission then their design copyright has been breached. But I can’t really see what they’re losing by it, I don’t suppose anyone is playing Scrabulous instead of Scrabble, and it’s probably introducing the board game to a generation that doesn’t play board games.

From a purely selfish point of view, if Scrabulous goes, I’ll have lost my principal reason for using Facebook and I won’t use the site anywhere near as often as I do now. On the other hand if it was a pay-to-use application, so that Mattel and Spears Games could get a royalty, I’d pay a reasonable subscription to use it, because it’s fun. But if it goes altogether, I can’t help thinking that the licence holders will have thrown away the best free advertising they’re likely to get.

Facebook now has a fast-growing “Save Scrabulous” group. If you’re on Facebook, and you think as I do, please support it.

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