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scrabulous.pngMattel, those fabulous folks who brought you poison toys from China; the litigious giant who likes to sue students who use Barbie in art projects, has teamed up with Hasbro to sue the creators of Scrabulous, one of Facebook’s most popular applications.
How many points for “dumbass”?
The two companies, which between them own the worldwide rights to the board game, claim that the online version developed by 20-something Indian brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla infringes their copyright. So Hasbro asked Facebook to take down Scrabulous – which attracts over 600,000 daily users and nets the brothers $25,000 worth of advertising a month.
What’s the point of turning your biggest fans into criminals? Why not just buy the company? Why not advertise the Scrabble board game on the Scrabulous pages of Facebook?
In their rush to sue, the two giant companies are missing some important points:
• There is such a thing as bad publicity.
• Facebook Scrabulous users are obsessed with the game, and angry that they may lose it. Many of them are parents, and parents buy toys from companies like Mattel and Hasbro, but not if they hate the toymakers.
• There already are more than 55,000 members in a Save Scrabulous Facebook Group and talk of boycott of Mattel and Hasbro
• Mattel and Hasbro are missing the huge opportunity to buy Scrabulous, enhance the reputation of the game and their brand, and have some fun.
• If they don’t buy Scrabulous, Mattel and Hasbro ought to hire the Agarwalla brothers to create an equally addictive online version of Scrabble for other social networks, from Bebo to MySpace to a 140-character version for Twitter.
• Realize that Scrabulous turns people on to Scrabble and other word games and creates opportunity for Mattel and Hasbro.
Shel Holtz
Matt Dickman
Anticipate This!