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Facebook Asked to Ditch Scrabulous

abstract:Facebook, the social network site, invites members to invent applications for its users. The most popular of these is an online game called "Scrabulous" which is based on the Mattel-Hasbro board game Scrabble. The software was developed by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, who are based in Kolkata, India. Lawyers for the board game say the online version infringes their client's copyright and must be removed. 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 - meaning that at any one time in the day there are half a million people worldwide playing the game online. Users admit to having never played the board version, but after becoming hooked on Scrabulous...


January 16, 2008
— ...they've now purchased at least one board game to play at home with friends and family. A quick check of Scrabble-related items on Amazon shows dictionaries and word-building books are sold out and on backorder. It will be interesting to see how the case resolves - another twist in the digital world.


Scrabble was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts, a young out-of-work architect, in the midst of the Great Depression. "He did some market research and concluded that games fall into three categories: number games, such as dice and bingo; move games, such as chess and checkers; and word games, such as anagrams. Butts wanted to create a game that combined the vocabulary skills of crossword puzzles and anagrams, with the additional element of chance. The game was originally named Lexico, but Butts eventually decided to call the game "Criss-Cross Words."

Butts' first attempts to sell his invention to established game manufacturers were failures, but he didn't give up. He and his partner, game-loving entrepreneur James Brunot, refined the rules and design of the game, and renamed it SCRABBLE. The name, which means "to grope frantically," was trademarked in 1948. The first SCRABBLE "factory" was an abandoned schoolhouse in Dodgington, Connecticut, where Brunot and friends turned out 12 games an hour. The letters were stamped on wooden tiles one at a time. Later, boards, boxes, and tiles were made elsewhere and sent to the factory for assembly and shipping.

The first four years were a struggle. In 1949, the Brunots made 2,400 sets and lost $450. As so often happens in the game business, SCRABBLE plugged along, gaining slow but steady popularity among a comparative handful of consumers. Then in the early 1950s, as legend has it, the president of Macy's discovered the game while on vacation, and ordered some for his store. Within a year, everyone "had to have one," and SCRABBLE sets were being rationed to stores around the country. In 1952, the Brunots realized they could no longer make the games fast enough to meet the growing interest. They licensed Selchow and Righter Company, a well-known game manufacturer founded in 1867, to market and distribute the games in the United States and Canada.

Even Selchow and Righter had to step up production to meet the overwhelming demand for the SCRABBLE game. As stories about it appeared in national newspapers, magazines, and on television, it seemed that everybody had to have a set immediately. In 1972, Selchow and Righter purchased the trademark SCRABBLE from Brunot, thereby giving them the exclusive rights to all SCRABBLE Brand products and entertainment services in the United States and Canada."—

Links and Stuff

Purchase Scrabble the game and the Scrabble Word Finder together.

Play Scrabulous online. Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla are ardent fans of the classic word game. After not finding a decent online environment to enjoy the game, the brothers decided to create their own website so that users from all over the world could enjoy!
The site has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Telegraph, and other major news publications across the world. Sign up now and discover Scrabulous. It's fast, fun, entertaining, and a great way to relax.



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