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Lawsuit spells trouble for Facebook's Scrabulous

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Toy omnicorp Hasbro is setting the legal dogs on Scrabulous, the Facebook-based Scrabble knock-off popular with timewasting desk jockeys worldwide.

As well as suing Indian developer brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla for copyright infringement, Hasbro has fired off a DMCA to Facebook demanding it remove the game from its third party application roster.

The DMCA takedown order is likely to be a more serious threat to Scrabulous than an unenforceable US jurisdiction copyright suit against the Agarwallas.

Hasbro first expressed displeasure at Scrabulous' apeing of Scrabble's rules and look back in January. Many Facebook users had hoped that Hasbro might simply buy the game, which has accumulated hundreds of thousands of players.

Today Facebook said it was "disappointed" to have become embroiled in the row, preferring to act as a dumb platform. The addictive quality of Scrabulous provides Facebook with a lot of potentially valuable eyeballs, too.

The site repeated its hope that a settlement can be reached.

The IP rights to Scrabble outside North America are owned by UK toy firm Mattel. ®

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