It worked! It looks like Hasbro (HAS) succeeded in rubbing out Scrabulous, at least temporarily. Try to pull up the game today and Facebook gives you the following message: “Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice.” The message allows you to enter an email address “if you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter.”
Update: Facebook confirmed the removal in a statement: “In response to a legal request from Hasbro, the copyright and trademark holder for Scrabble in the U.S. & Canada, the developers of Scrabulous have suspended their application in the U.S. and Canada until further notice.”
Hasbro filed suit last week against Rajat and Jayant Agarwall, who founded the wildly popular Facebook app two years ago. But what likely ended the game’s two-year run on Facebook was a DMCA takedown notice demanding that the social network remove the application — the same technique that Viacom and other media giants use to (try to) get Daily Show clips off of YouTube.
Earlier this year we heard the Agarwall brothers had been offered a substantial check from Hasbro and other companies with a claim to the Scrabble brand (there are several), but that they were holding out for more. We still think that in the end, they’ll walk away with something, since they’ve got a wildly popular app on their hands. But the takedown certainly removes a whole lot of leverage, and makes it possible that they’ll end up with zilch.
In the meantime, it certainly helps EA’s Scrabble Beta, which has 14,956 daily users after five days. Expect that to grow now that Scrabulous (509,505 daily active users) is history.
We’re getting responses from Hasbro and Facebook and will let you know when we know more.