Intellectual Property: January 9 -29, 2008

Current events

Current events

by Dan McGuire -
Number of replies: 3

Well, things are always interesting in the world of copyright.

Ever since Napster, copyright has been a popular news item, and the latest outbreak hits a very popular service - hand's up if you have played 'Scrabulous' on facebook!

http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/006312.html

Quick poll - how many feel Hasboro and Mattel are justified with their request? Why?

In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Current events

by Alice Macpherson -
Earliest reference I can find is to 1931 and a game call Lexio by Alfred Butts that evolved into what we now know as SCRABBLE®
http://www.askoxford.com/wordgames/scrabble/ and
http://www.mattelscrabble.com/en/adults/history/page2.html
Wikipedia says (accurately or not, I'm not sure as it looks like Spear & Sons has been acquired by Mattel)
The name Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. in the US and Canada and of J. W. Spear & Sons PLC elsewhere. Scrabble was a trademark of Murfett Regency in Australia, until 1993 when it was acquired by Spear. The game is also known as Alfapet, Funworder, Skip-A-Cross, Spelofun and Palabras Cruzadas ("crossed words").

So it the name the issue for ownership, or is it the idea?

Alice


In reply to Dan McGuire

Re: Current events

by Jeffrey Keefer -
It seems like Hasbro and Mattel have a case, as that looks and feels like Scrabble to me. Isn't that what copyright and trademarks are for, to protect creators from having others steel their work?
In reply to Jeffrey Keefer

Re: Current events

by Elizabeth Wallace -

After I stopped worrying about protecting my work, or ideas about my work, etc. I had a very pleasant surprize. I found that the more I shared, the better it was. More feedback, more awareness of my work, more opportunity to discuss my ideas, and that makes me happy.  Mind you, I'm not in the million dollar club, so I admit I didn't have to worry as much as the people who created Scrabble!

Here's a current commentary on the Scrabulous scandal which suggests that Hasbro and Mattel should be happy too:

http://www.news.com/8301-13577_3-9852054-36.html?tag=cd.blog