There's no more Scrabulous on Facebook. For real. Unless you're in India.
According to the Associated Press, the social network has officially disabled access to the popular online game, which closely resembles classic board game Scrabble, after receiving a complaint from Mattel, the company that publishes it outside the United States and Canada. Access within the U.S. and Canada had already been blocked.
The rights to Scrabble are owned by different companies: Hasbro handles the game in North America, and Mattel internationally. The two takedowns were different: The creators of Scrabulous disabled U.S. and Canadian access on their own, after receiving a takedown notice from Hasbro, but the AP article says Mattel's complaint led Facebook to take action.
Mattel has filed a lawsuit in India, where the developers who created the game are based, over copyright and trademark infringement. A court decision is pending, which is why Scrabulous is still accessible in India while Facebook chose to pull it elsewhere.
Outside of Facebook, the Web site Scrabulous.com is still extant.
The creators of Scrabulous, brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, are none too pleased with Facebook's intervention. "It surprises us that Mattel chose to direct Facebook to take down Scrabulous without waiting for the (Indian court's) decision," Jayant Agarwalla said in a statement to the AP. "Mattel's action speaks volumes about their business practices and respect for the judiciary."
The brothers subsequently modified Scrabulous' design and points system, and relaunched it as Wordscraper in the United States and Canada within days of its initial demise. Mattel and Hasbro, meanwhile, have both created official versions of Scrabble on the platform.