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August 4th, 2008


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01:08 pm - scrabulous
let's talk about scrabulous for a moment. in a nutshell, the two guys who created it are fucking stupid and deserve to get sued into a turkish prison.
my views on e-piracy and intellectual property are still rather confused, but i do know that if you steal someone's idea and start making tons of money off of it, you have done something very sleazy. having it shut down sucks for all the people who were using it, but i have no sympathy for the guys who founded it (i'll also note that word on the street is, before suing, hasbro offered them $10 MILLION to hand over scrabulous, and they basically said fuck off). i really can't imagine how they expected this situation to turn out in their favor. they blatantly broke the law, are blatantly greedy, and (as follows) are blatantly dishonest. fuck 'em.

here -- because how often do i get to insert myself into current events -- is a fun email conversation i had with one of the creators awhile back:

From: dan widrew
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 9:58 PM
To: admin@scrabulous.com
Subject: dictionary

where is your dictionary from? it is pretty suspect. for example, it has okay but not ok, and doesn't have american or european.


On 2007/10/01 12:39:45 PM, Scrabulous (admin.scrabulous@gmail.com) wrote:

See www.scrabulous.com/scrabulous_dictionary.php

Best Regards,
Jayant Agarwalla
Co-founder, Scrabulous


From: dan widrew <dan@alt130.net>
Date: Oct 01 2007 - 1:03pm

"For instance, it is edited by the editors of NSA (National Scrabulous Association)"
um does the NSA even exist? google doesn't seem to think so. correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't scrabulous just a word you guys invented in the hopes that hasbro wouldn't sue you for ripping off scrabble (as www.scrabulous.com/blog/disclaimer/
[1] makes pretty clear)? scrabulous doesn't seem to exist in any particular form outside of your site, according to google and wikipedia, so hiding behind fictitious institutions and not acknowledging that you seem to be making up your own dictionary seems pretty disingenuous.

"You can search for words in the SOWPODS dictionary and the TWL dictionary, the most popular ones used for Scrabulous"
perhaps the most popular ones because they are the only ones available?


On 2007/10/01 1:37:39 PM, Scrabulous (admin.scrabulous@gmail.com) wrote:

Why don't you search for sowpods and twl at Wikipedia...and if you think we are hiding, then why not just find another site that suits your needs better?

Best Regards,
Jayant Agarwalla
Co-founder, Scrabulous


From: dan widrew <dan@alt130.net>
Date: Oct 01 2007 - 2:03pm

i apologize. they apparently are real dictionaries which you just have misleading/untrue descriptions of.
do you tell everyone who offers criticism to leave your site?

On 2007/10/01 2:31:27 PM, Scrabulous (admin.scrabulous@gmail.com) wrote:

Not really, Scrabulous has been built from ground up based on 'constructive' criticisms....we owe our present status to our users. However, there is little we can do when someone accuses us without even bothering to look up some details on their own.

Best Regards,
Jayant Agarwalla
Co-founder, Scrabulous


From: dan widrew <dan@alt130.net>
Date: Oct 01 2007 - 2:57pm

okay, i got the existance of TWL wrong. i admit that. but i still stand by everything else i said, and you haven't responded to any of it.

National Scrabulous Association doesn't seem to exist.
"Scrabulous is one of the most popular word games in the world and the internet version at Scrabulous has given it a new dimension altogether." scrabulous doesn't exist offline. it is merely a website for playing scrabble online.
"The Official Scrabulous Players Dictionary or OSPD was first published in 1978." scrabulous didn't EXIST in 1978. your blog makes quite plain that the site was made in 2005. and regardless, even now that it does exist, there is not a scrabulous players dictionary. it's still scrabble. playing checkers online doesn't transform it to checkabobe or something, it's still checkers. if you wanted to try e-scrabble, i would grant you that.

all you've done is gone through and changed any use of the word scrabble to scrabulous, as if no one would notice. i mean, look at the links at the bottom of your pages! compare the main page [Links : Solitaire Scrabulous Scrabulous Blog Play Scrabulous Online NQ Badge Scrabulous Dictionary Free Games E-Mail Scrabulous Scrabulous Players] to the dictionary page [Links : Help Play Scrabble Online Scrabble Players Contribute Statistics Scrabble Dictionary Solitaire Scrabble E-Mail Scrabble 2 Letter Words], which apparently you haven't updated yet.

now what are these exonerating details i have failed to look up on my own?

i am all for making things free and fighting intellectual copyright, but this is plain dishonest. i'm shocked hasbro hasn't sued you yet. this would be like me changing harry potter to harold porter and trying to republish it.



he never answered this, presumably because he was busy readying the facebook app of checkabobe.

[1] this is no longer online, but i fetched it out of my cache (emphasis from the original):

Disclaimer
Posted on March 6th, 2007 by rajatag.
Scrabulous is not the official Scrabble website of Hasbro© or J.W Spears. It is an entirely non-profit making venture designed to bring lovers of the game together and give them a better means to play it for free over the Internet.
Scrabulous is not a part, subsidiary, or venture of Hasbro© or Mattel©, and is not connected to them in any way whatsoever. You have come to the wrong place if you are looking for the official Scrabble, Mattel©, or Hasbro© website.
We hope this will encourage people to purchase the official board game and make sure that Scrabble remains something that our children still come into contact with despite these days of electronic games culture.

ADDENDUM i just realized, the disclaimer says they are 'an entirely non-profit making venture'. this is bullshit. they were making huge piles of money from advertising (and, i will baselessly assume, also from crack sales and assassinations). this non-profit was making them boatloads of profit.
np: The Heads / Ed Kowalczyk - No Talking, Just Head - Indie Hair

(5 shots upside the head | en garde!)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:mercy_rain
Date:August 4th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
well, there is Scrabble beta, so it is not like there is no outlet for my Scrabbling needs.

Also, Jayant is a little unprofessional there IMO.

Also, Jayant et al are fucking morons, if the buyout attempt story is true, for turning down that much money for something that was obviously going to get them sued. I can't imagine anything I could ever create that I would not happily sell for several million dollars, and I'd probably even throw in some homemade baking and a striptease. (Children aside...most days, anyway.)
[User Picture]
From:bertho
Date:August 4th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
(Link)
(Children aside...most days, anyway.)

Damn. I was going to ask about that until I got to there...
[User Picture]
From:mercy_rain
Date:August 4th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
(Link)
We've been on summer break for a couple months now; make an offer :P
[User Picture]
From:bertho
Date:August 4th, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Haha. I would, but I just wrote a rather large check this morning in the hopes of having one of my own...
[User Picture]
From:madeleine
Date:August 6th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
I just love how he uses "Best Regards" to end his letter after writing shitty things. great way to enrage your fans ;)

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