Hasbro Crushes Dreams of Grown Men Who Love My Little Pony

Katie Notopoulos · 12/30/11 03:00PM

Forget SOPA. The biggest online intellectual property story last week was the shutdown of a website offering downloads of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which shook the burgeoning "brony" community to its core.

Bronies (bro+pony) are adult male fans of the new series launched in 2010 based on the classic ‘80s My Little Pony toy that [spoiler] your mom secretly threw out your collection of when you went to college.

If you think bronyism sounds like something only a serious pervert living in his mother's basement would be into, you're only about 30% correct. To address your immediate question: it's not ironic. It's nerdy guys who genuinely enjoy an animated series about ponies. The show has a legitimate appeal to older audiences—high production values, snappy dialog, and a heartwarming message. But the online fan culture of bronies grew out of 4chan, so they have a computer nerd vestigial tail of Mountain Dew, anime appreciation, chronic virginity, and cyberbullying.

Bronies have their own news sites, fan forums, and even a healthy amount of fan art of ponies doing unspeakable sexual acts on Tumblr. They've had real life meet-ups, and an upcoming BronyCon in New York will feature appearances by voice actors from the show.

Scrabulous brand sentenced to death in India

Jackson West · 09/18/08 01:40PM

Mattel, owner of the Scrabble brand outside of the United States, brought suit against brothers Jayant and Rajat Aggarwal, creators of Scrabulous, for copyright and trademark infringment. Delhi High Court judge S Ravindra Bhat has ruled that while Mattel couldn't claim copyright on the board design, it could defend its trademark. The Aggarwal brothers must not use the name "Scrabulous" in any form, including in links or source code.The popular Facebook application version had already been banned by the social network, both in the US and in India, but a new version called Wordscraper appeared, but now competes with official versions from Mattel and US rightsholder Hasbro. (Image by k1v1n)

Scrabulous returns wearing fake moustache, calls itself Wordscraper

Jackson West · 07/31/08 11:40AM

Wordscraper is the latest Facebook game that looks remarkably like Scrabble from developers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla. The new name and new look will hopefully be enough to keep the law dogs from Hasbro and Electronic Arts from running it out of town like they did to Scrabulous. Besides the new name and the new color scheme, players are allowed to modify the board and futz with the rules.If it ends up looking like Scrabble, it'll be the users who are infringing on copyrights, not the creators. One problem Wordscraper might have in becoming as popular as Scrabulous once was? Scrabulous has completely disappeared from Facebook profiles, meaning members will have to look for and re-select Wordscraper. When searching apps for "Scrabble," finding the official version is much easier, and Facebook has made it harder for apps to spread from user to user on the social network. So, anyone up for a game of Attack?

Facebook disables Scrabulous, forces white people to play Scrabble instead

Paul Boutin · 07/29/08 10:20AM

According to a Facebook spokesmonkey, "In response to a legal request from Hasbro, the copyright and trademark holder for Scrabble in the U.S. and Canada, the developers of Scrabulous have suspended their application in the U.S. and Canada until further notice." Let me help you with that blog post you're writing in your head: First they came for the Scrabulous players ... [CNET]

Hasbro sues Scrabulous creators, who could have gotten away with it

Nicholas Carlson · 07/24/08 03:20PM

Hasbro, maker of board game Scrabble, has filed suit in a New York court against Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla, the brothers who created Scrabulous, a Facebook-app version of the game. Hasbro also filed a DMCA notice with Facebook, asking that the company remove the game from its website because it infringes on Hasbro's copyright. I'm not a lawyer, and neither is Iminlikewithyou founder Charles Forman — but he has managed to get away with his own bit of copying other people's games, turning Tetris into Blockles and Pictionary into Draw My Thing, for example. Forman tells us that the Agarwallas would be totally in the clear if they'd only copied Scrabble's rules in building Scrabulous. Game rules can't be copyrighted, argues Forman. But since the Scrabulous guys also copied the physical appearance of the Scrabble board — which can be copyrighted — Forman thinks they're screwed.

Seth Abramovitch · 02/20/08 05:52PM

Every so often, a confluence of subject matter—say, Hasbro toys and Universal Pictures—will yield a comedy gusher for blogging prospectors such as ourselves. We now stick our straw into BestWeekEver.tv's crude reservoirs, and drink it up. We drink it up! "Lite Brite - Starring: Peter Sarsgaard as Doug Trenton, Jessica Biel as Fragment...A romantic comedy in which a lovelorn widower stumbles upon a magical toy that makes anything he creates in colorful, electronic fragments come to life. He then immediately falls in love with a really pixelated ballerina..." [BWE]

Electronic Arts wants its games on Facebook

Mary Jane Irwin · 02/12/08 12:57AM

Electronic Arts is learning to ask questions like "What is your sex song?" and "Hottie" requests. That's right, the videogames giant is leaping into the world of Facebook applications. Former EA Los Angeles general manager Neil Young is in charge of a "stealth division" believed to be EA Blueprint, which will develop and publish games to social networks. At least someone who knows what they're doing will be making games for the network. But if these rumors pan out, this at least sheds a bit more light on the threatened shutdown of Scrabulous.

Mark Graham · 01/22/08 04:35PM

Looking to relive the rousing and not-at-all-vomit-inducing in-theater experience of going to see Cloverfield: The Movie? Still trying to figure out exactly what that monster (spoilers!) really was/is? Well, thanks to those lovable scamps at Hasbro, those of you with $99.99 and a lot of patience can soon own a Cloverfield monster of your very own! And by soon, we mean in October. Of 2008. Nothing like striking while the iron is hot, guys! [Coming Soon]

Hasbro wants to shut down Scrabulous

Mary Jane Irwin · 01/11/08 05:27PM

Starting a 12-step Scrabulous-recovery plan may be a lot easier than all you addicts think. Hasbro wants to make it impossible for the Facebook app's 2.3 million users to fall off the wagon by shutting down the Scrabble copycat. It sent a notice to Facebook two weeks ago. Jayant Agarwalla, half of the two-man team behind the Web and Facebook apps, says he doesn't get Hasbro's deal. It obviously wouldn't have anything to do with using its intellectual property to score "over $25,000 a month."