Scrabulous Not Infringing (Copyright) in India

Posted on Categories Intellectual Property LawTags

When it rains, it pours. This week there has been a slew of developments in copyright law. The motion picture studios have sued RealNetworks over its RealDVD application, claiming that RealNetworks violated the license it signed to get the decryption keys to DVDs. Congress passed a measure designed to ease the pressure on small webcasters after the Copyright Royalty Tribunal suddenly increased their fees. Congress also passed a version of the PRO-IP bill, which, ignoring a district court judge’s call to reduce copyright penalties, actually adds to them by allowing civil forfeiture of computer equipment in certain cases.

But the development I want to highlight here is the apparent decision by a court in India that Scrabulous does not infringe on the copyright for Scrabble. (The name, however, was held to infringe on the Scrabble trademark.) I wrote a four-part series for Prawfsblawg back in August that analyzed the case and copyright in games generally. (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.) Unfortunately the only news of the decision is from the Agarwalla brothers, the creators of Scrabulous, themselves; we don’t have the judge’s reasoning. But I’d be eager to see if it matches any of the points of my analysis.

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