Saturday, March 01, 2008

Iatiomitn is the Hgihset From of Felttary

In "Makers of Scrabble to shut down online version," The Los Angeles Times reports how a popular Facebook application developed by two brothers in India is causing large game conglomerates in the United States to defend their intellectual property. Of course, anyone who has spent any time on Facebook has encountered the Scrabulous phenomenon, where players are often hustling for games on the popular social networking site. What's interesting is that the most obviously copyrightable part of the game, the numerical values of each letter, actually comes from a frequency calculation based on the pages of The New York Times. Although Bruce Schneier may question if people can claim that a numerical sequence constitutes a trade secret, perhaps the Gray Lady may have grounds to want to get in on the dispute as well.

Update: The New York Times is also covering the story here.

Labels: , ,

1 Comments:

Blogger David G. said...

"Bruce Schneier may question if people can claim that a numerical sequence constitutes a trade secret"

A numerical sequence can certainly be a trade secret. But it has to be secret. The letter values in Scrabble are public, so they can't be a trade secret. (Perhaps the method of deriving them could be a trade secret, but that's of little commercial value unless we invent some new letters.)

3:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home