Facebook Can't Spell Copyright In Scrabulous

Everyone keeps telling me how smart Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook is, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. Fresh on the heels of his disastrous foray into datamining with Facebook's Beacon service, he seems to be unclear on the concept of copyright infringement. Hasbro and Mattel, owners of the copyright for the Scrabble word game, is directing Facebook to remove Scrabulous, an online application that is one of the ten most popular on Facebook.

The Scrabulous add-on was not created by Facebook but was built for the site by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla - software developers based in Kolkata. [India]

According to the Scrabulous website it has 594,924 daily active users - about a quarter of the total that have signed up to play it.

The game has spawned a host of "scrabble cheat" sites which work out every possible word that can be made from the available letters.

The threat to the game has spawned a new facebook group "Save Scrabulous" that already has more 600 members.

As usual, the users of Scrabulous don't blame Facebook for not licensing the game, but blame Hasbro and Mattel for not allowing Facebook to make money off the idea without paying for it. The Save Scrabulous group is offering links to the toymakers' websites so they can protest. Someone really should clue in Zuckerberg that if you've got a half-million dedicated daily users of anything on the internet, it would be a trifle to make it pay and legally license the game. I guess he'd rather pay lawyers and annoy his subscribers. That's how smart a genius is, I guess.