Facebook word game fans rejoice! Scrabulous, pulled from Facebook only two days ago due to a lawsuit from Scrabble creators Hasbro, is now back up in the form of Wordscraper. The makers of Scrabulous have given the game some graphics and mechanics tweaking to help differentiate it from the Hasbro original. This is when we get to see if Hasbro's lawsuit had any real merits. Will people stick with the reincarnated Scrabulous, or will they hop on over to Hasbro's official Scrabble Facebook application, currently being enjoyed by over 50,000 players? The real question here is "Why the hell are so many people wasting their entire day playing games on a social networking site?" How is anything getting done, anywhere? Scrabulous is Back! Its New Name is Wordscraper [Mashable via CNET]
@Fnor: Thing is, it's not the gameplay that's copyrighted. In fact, gameplay *can't* be copyrighted, or trademarked, or patented. (Otherwise there'd only ever be one of any game in a genre. You guys would have no Halo, no Splinter Cell, no nothing that wasn't absolutely the first game in its genre.) That's not the reason they made these changes.
Only the name was changed for trademark reasons. In fact, that's what the lawsuit was all about.
The gameplay changes were probably to satisfy Facebook and get the thing back up there. Facebook doesn't want to be caught in the middle of this.
But it's really got no legal point to it, so it's not going to hurt their case at all.