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Unformatted text preview: t have the legal rights to Scrabble, and it was apparent to anyo ne that f ro m the name to the tiles to the sco ring—this was a direct ripo f f o f the well-kno wn bo ard game. Hasbro o wns the co pyright to Scrabble in the United States and Canada; Mattel o wns it everywhere else. Tho usands o f f ans jo ined Facebo o k gro ups with names like “Save Scrabulo us” and “P lease Go d, I Have So Little: Do n’t Take Scrabulo us, To o .” Users in so me pro test gro ups pledged never to buy Hasbro games if Scrabulo us was sto pped. Even if the f irms wanted to succumb to pressure and let the Agarwalla bro thers co ntinue, they co uldn’t. Bo th Electro nic Arts and RealNetwo rks have co ntracted with the f irms to create o nline versio ns o f the game. While the Facebo o k Scrabulo us app is lo ng go ne, the tale serves to illustrate so me o f the challenges f aced when creating a platf o rm. In additio n to co pyright vio latio ns, app makers have craf ted apps that anno y, purvey po rno graphy, step o ver the bo undaries o f go o d taste, and raise privacy and security co ncerns. In f all 2010, the Wall Street Jo urnal repo rted that unscrupulo us partners had scraped perso nal inf o rmatio n f ro m the pro f iles o f Facebo o k users and then so ld the inf o rmatio n to third parties—a vio latio n o f Facebo o k’s terms o f service that created a f iresto rm in the media.J. Cheng, “Facebo o k P unishes App Develo pers Fo und Selling User Data,” ArsTechnica, No vember 1, 2010. Zynga also ran into tro uble and was skewered in the press when so me o f its partners were accused o f scamming users into signing up f o r subscriptio ns o r installing unwanted so f tware in exchange f o r game credits (Zynga has since taken steps to screen partners and impro ve transparency).M. Arringto n, “Zynga Takes Steps to Remo ve Scams f ro m Games,” TechCrunch, No vember 2, 2009. Firms f ro m Facebo o k to Apple (thro ugh its iTunes Sto re) have struggled to f in...
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This document was uploaded on 01/31/2014.

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