Scrabulous is back on UK Facebook

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The Independent Tech

Thousands of online scrabble addicts were able to return to their favourite word game today after the UK application of Scrabulous reappeared on Facebook.

Fans feared the game had been pulled from the UK site following months of legal wrangling between the Indian brothers who created the online version and the companies who own the rights to the board game.

On Tuesday, Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla said they agreed to block Scrabulous in the United States and Canada, after Facebook received legal notice from Hasbro.

They said in a statement: "In deference to Facebook's concerns and without prejudice to our legal rights, we have had to restrict our fans in USA and Canada from accessing the Scrabulous application on Facebook until further notice.

"This is an unfortunate event and not something that we are very pleased about, especially as Mattel has been pursuing the matter in Indian courts for the past few months.

"We will sincerely hope to bring to our fans brighter news in the days to come."

Hasbro owns the rights to Scrabble in the US and Canada while Mattel owns the rights elsewhere in the world.

In January, the toy giants wrote jointly to the social networking site's US head office calling for Scrabulous to be pulled from the site due to copyright issues.

But today UK word players were relieved able to log back in to their games and Rajat Agarwalla confirmed: "The game is working for UK players on Facebook."

Mattel said the disruption to the application had nothing to do with them, while a Facebook spokesman said engineers were looking into it.

Fan Sara Bioletti, from Liverpool, wrote on the site: "Phew!!!!

"Thrilled to see it's back this morning!

"I thought I was going to have to do some work for a change!"

And Bob Kingsley, from Bristol, wrote: "What the heck is going on??? It's gone ... it's back again.

"This situation is driving me nuts."

An official online version of the game, released earlier this month, has attracted only 15,000 daily users, compared with more than half a million for Scrabulous.