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Lights out: Facebook's Scrabulous closes down

Hasbro's attorneys have carried the day.

In response to the game maker's suit against the two Indian brothers who developed the popular Facebook game Scrabulous, the developers yanked the app in the United States and Canada.

Facebook said that the decision to take down the popular game, which has more than half a million users, was entirely that of the developers, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla. Facebook says that its position on this issue has been to take an even keel, but suggested that it might have leaned on the developers to pull the plug on the game until the legal hubbub settles down.

"Over the past year, Facebook has tried to use its status as neutral platform provider to help the parties come to an amicable agreement," the company said in a statement. "We're disappointed that Hasbro has sought to draw us into their dispute; nevertheless, we have forwarded their concerns to Scrabulous and requested their appropriate response."

As of this writing, the game was still available at [Scrabulous.com](http://scrabulous.com/).

For its part, Hasbro has offered an official Scrabble game for Facebook in the United States and Canada; and Mattel has offered one in the rest of the world. Combined, the two apps have fewer than 25,000 users.

Peering into the discussion boards, the reviews are less than sterling: "Horrible!!"; "Dear Hasbro, if you are going to sue Scrabulous, please make a better version of your own app."

Hasbro, the copyright and trademark holder for the game Scrabble, brought its suit under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Scrabulous is very plainly a copycat of Scrabble -- that much is beyond dispute. But wouldn't it make more sense, instead of suing the developers and incurring the wrath of the Facebook set, to partner with them and use their winning app to build a brand on the world's fastest-growing social network?

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