Facebook shuts down Scrabulous internationally

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Facebook has removed the popular application Scrabulous from its servers for international users, nearly a month after it banned users in the US from using it.

Scrabulous was a word game very similar to Scrabble, and Hasbro, which owns the US rights to Scrabble and Mattel which has the international rights, both the game be removed after they had made their own Facebook game application.

"It surprises us that Mattel chose to direct Facebook to take down Scrabulous without waiting for to rule on the matter, Jayant Agarwalla, co-creator of Scrabulous, said in an e-mail.

"Mattel's action speaks volumes about their business practices and respect for the judiciary. It is even more astonishing that Facebook, which claims to be a fair and neutral party, took this step.''

Scrabulous has since been reworked into a similar game called Wordscraper, which looks to be sufficiently different from Scrabble to avoid court action.

At its peak Scrabulous had over half a million active users. Wordscraper currently has around quarter of a million, while Hasbro’s Scrabble application has over 370,000 users and Mattel’s non-US Scrabble has just over 70,000.

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