Re: Bingo

1

Take that, Facebook applications users!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 9:54 AM
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Hasbro


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 9:57 AM
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Hathbro.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:04 AM
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Isn't scrabulous a site, not just a FB thing?

I'm not really surprised about this either, but Hasbro has been consistently stupid about this sort of thing.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:04 AM
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Hathbwo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:04 AM
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This has been up for years, and I've had several friends who play there. It gets no lawsuit love?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:05 AM
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6: There's a bunch of them. If they get popular enough, the lawyers will follow.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:07 AM
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They seem to be within their rights to sue, but part of me wonders why they just didn't buy the application since it seems to have expanded their market.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:07 AM
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8: Because they can sue and launch their own for far less.

Facebook applications are teh suck.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:10 AM
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8 is basically what I meant in 4.

From what I understand (from knowing an obsessive player or two) they have offered a couple of inferior computer products and no web version or anything. Instead of providing something for the obvious demand, they piss off fans of the game by going after any popular servers.

There are clear trademark issues in some cases, but other than that, rather than chasing the clones they should be thanking them, really. I wouldn't be surprised if scrabulous, say, has resulted in a bunch of physical sales.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:11 AM
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9: But they don't. People have been making computer versions of scrabble for decades now, and the company has never done anything decent in that direction.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:12 AM
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I'm shocked that it wasn't licensed already.

It's definitely made me play the real game more often. And read "Word Freak", which is a great book.

Facebook applications are teh suck.

Except Scrabulous, in my opinion. I like Scrabble better with no pressure to go at a particular time. Of course there is also the honor system for not using searches to find the perfect obscure word nobody has heard before.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:12 AM
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Don't taze sue me, Hasbro!


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:14 AM
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Hasbro has been consistently stupid about this sort of thing.

I think of things like this when people complain about how inefficient and bureaucratic the government is. Private companies are full of turf wars, inertia, and general stupidity as well.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:14 AM
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No more masturbating to Bobby Fischer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:17 AM
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15: oh, that's sad. He had a difficult go of it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:26 AM
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The obituary's interesting, though long and weirdly organized.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:29 AM
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He had a difficult go of it.

Then maybe it's not so sad?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:29 AM
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They seem to be within their rights to sue, but part of me wonders why they just didn't buy the application since it seems to have expanded their market.

This, to clarify, is what surprised me when I sent the link to Becks. But on reflection, I suppose the lawsuit could be phase one of a takeover. Gives them more leverage to buy them out for less. Maybe. If they're not complete morons.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:59 AM
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I'm crazy addicted to Scrabulous. Challenge me before it disappears!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:01 AM
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When I first entered the novitiate, I assumed that Scrabulous was a knockoff, like Yahoo's Literati, in which the board is arranged differently and there are different proportions of tiles worth different points.
When I was initiated into the higher mysteries, I learned that the board, tiles, and points are just as they are in real Scrabble, and assumed that it was made with Hasbro's blessing.
Now that I have attained enlightenment, however, I know that Scrabulous is a knockoff, and that there are only appearances and shadows in this world.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:01 AM
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21: Likewise, the Platonic ideal of ben w-lfs-n is unknowable, and all we get is some cheap knock-off.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:08 AM
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Possibly this is the opening move in a negotiation to buy or share in the profits of Scrabulous as cheaply as possible.

They're freaks about their brand. We wanted to use an image of a Scrabble game on a piece of collateral, so we did a shoot, then we tried to get rights from them and they demanded that the layout of letters on the board and the number of tiles on the racks be correct per the game rules. Then they asked for an incredible amount of money. We said, Why should we pay that much when we can get a similar image from Getty for a tenth of the price? They said What!! and sent a cease and desist letter to Getty. We used something else on the cover. It's funny that while they're trying to squeeze a few extra grand out of us, jillions of people were playing black market internet scrabble!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:11 AM
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Is it just me, or does "scrabulous" sound like an adjective describing a horrible skin condition?


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:12 AM
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Hello, 19.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:12 AM
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Hey, 19, that's 'Retha Franklin.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:16 AM
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25: Hello. Yours was better said and it had a good story.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:16 AM
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If you mean, MAE, does "scrabulous" sound like "scrofulous", then yeah, sort of.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:17 AM
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I read about this a couple days ago -- from what I made out in that other story, Electronic Arts already licenses all of Hasbro's board games. Maybe part of the reason they took so long is that EA and Hasbro were fighting about who had to do the lawsuit (and which of the two of them got the proceeds from the blatant ripoff)?


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:17 AM
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28: I was thinking it's more like a scabby scroufulous, with a side order of crabs.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:20 AM
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29: yeah, except this isn't nearly the first time they've been involved in a similar action. It's probably by far the biggest, which lends support to the negotiating ploy angle --- but there is not reason to rule out simple incompetence/market myopia


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:20 AM
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Honest, officer, I have no idea where that extra 'u' came from!


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:21 AM
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I'm determined to make my comment quota for the month in this thread.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:23 AM
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30, 28: I was thinking "scabrous".


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:24 AM
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scrupulous


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:28 AM
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Hasbro is behaving unscrabulously.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:29 AM
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Still, I think it's a stupid move on Hasbro's part.

One of the ironies of trademark law is that companies are more or less obliged to sue on a hair-trigger if they want to preserve their trademark rights. Failure to send a C&D can be construed as tacit consent to the infringement (there are exceptions for minor and inconsequential use, but lawyers tend to be conservative about such things with good reason). Such tacit consent creates a risk that the trademark (same goes for trade dress) can be become generic and the registration could be ruled invalid.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:33 AM
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37: That's true of trademark violations, but not IP in general, right? I don't think that's what is going on here, but maybe trade dress covers things I don't understand.

There are loads of these programs, and historically Hasbro hasn't been very quick to shut them down unless they actually use the name or they are quite popular; that undermines the argument that they are doing this to protect their mark, I think.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:37 AM
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Is this the BecksBlog now, or what? Don't get me wrong, I love the lady, but there are a half a dozen main page posters besides Ogged listed on the left there...

P.S. referring to a woman as a "lady" or a "girl"...which is more offensive/annoying now? Should we just call everybody grrrls and have done with it?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:45 AM
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39: officially ogged is on hiatus, so is LB. Bob is mythical, unf nearly so. Tia is gone, alamieda seems to be .


Becks has stepped up, while FL, ben and apo are slackers, or writing on their own blogs, or something.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:48 AM
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oops, it was a skin condition
scabies may be


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:49 AM
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maybe trade dress covers things I don't understand

Actually, it's a good question whether the look & feel of a scrabble board could be protected as trade dress. You could argue that it doesn't fulfill the non-functionality criterion. Lawyers, what say you?

That said, there is a colorable argument that the name "scrabulous" itself constitutes a trademark infringement because of the aural similarity and likelihood of confusion.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:50 AM
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Labs has been doing his share. It's just that Becks is now covering the shares of all the other posters.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:51 AM
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39: Is this the BecksBlog now, or what?

We've all seen the same dynamics play out among humans. For example, if Unfogged poster Becks is disturbed when there has been no new post for hours, whereas it doesn't bother her co-bloggers, Becks will post before any of the others is moved to do so. If the difference in their disturbance levels is great enough, the co-bloggers never will post, because Becks will always take care of it before it bothers them, possibly before they ever even notice.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:52 AM
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45

43 is fair

44 is cute


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:53 AM
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Aren't they getting worked up over Scrabulous because the Scrabulous people are making loads of money ($25000 a month I heard?) out of using their name/idea? Do the other Scrabble-playing sites make money?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 11:57 AM
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46: Ah, you're right. ISC is commercial-free.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:08 PM
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That said, there is a colorable argument that the name "scrabulous" itself constitutes a trademark infringement because of the aural similarity and likelihood of confusion.

Does "colorable" mean "bad"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:12 PM
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49

Byrne vs Fischer 1963


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:22 PM
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48: Actually, this seems very plausible to me. "scrabulous" is clearly intended to invoke the trademark. If you want to chug a Budvar in the U.S., for instance, you'll have to buy it under the name Czechvar, lest you offend Anheuser-Busch, the holder of the relevant U.S. trademark.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:24 PM
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50: Yeah, it seems the name is too close. But that would be an argument to change the name, not shut it down, wouldn't it?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:29 PM
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P.S. referring to a woman as a "lady" or a "girl"...which is more offensive/annoying now? Should we just call everybody grrrls and have done with it?

I believe this has been discussed here before.

Summary: "girl" is offensive to some women; "lady" is offensive to some women; there is no such thing as that which is objectively offensive or annoying. Safe bet: "woman."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:34 PM
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53: You misspelled "womyn".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:35 PM
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I thought consensus here was ..... laydeez


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:36 PM
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I'll call you whatever you want . . . . laydeez.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:42 PM
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see? comity!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:43 PM
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For Boston people- another item from today in legal action killing good things


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:45 PM
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46 makes sense.

Because it is obviously Scrabble and it sells ads and therefore must be making money, most people I know assumed that Scrabulous was a clever thing created by Scrabble, Inc.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:48 PM
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58: Sure, there is tall poppy syndrome going on. It's not clear they are making any real money on it, after hosting etc. Who knows? The issue isn't so much a question of Scrabulous infringing (it is) but what does a company like Hasbro do about it. So far, the response seems to be try and stay living in the 80s and lawyer away anything interesting that happens with the game.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 12:53 PM
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51: That seems right to me. There's clearly more going on here than the misappropriation of the name.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 1:01 PM
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SP- yeah, another good thing bites the dust. But being that far behind in your taxes is a pretty different game than a trademark lawsuit.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 1:32 PM
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Not to ruin anyone's day, bt my URL is "Commissar Goldberg", my own take on Goldberg. Main points:

1. By seeming like a nice professor talking NPR-talk, Goldberg makes himself more plausible than Coulter, Malkin, et al.

2. Refuting his points is not hard, but somewhat futile, because his core supporters are fanatics and his target audience is thoughtless moderates who don't pay attention.

3. His main significance is bringing his farfetched views to respectability, whether or not many are convinced. Certain extreme statements are no longer outrageous, and some people will half-believe them.

4. His game is only possible because the movement Republicans have intimidated the media into guaranteeing them positions, on the model of Soviet commissars planted in universities, etc.

5. These Republican media plants cannot be fired because they were hired to be Republican mouthpieces, and they have an intimidating effect on everyone else in media, because they show that media management is willing to accept almost anything from the right, but not the left.

6. If what I say is true, Goldberg will succeed in making his false and slanderous ideas respectable, because almost no one will dare confront him the way he deserves. Irony and mild disagreement on points of detail are not good enough, because Goldberg is a flat-earther and hatemonger who needs to be expelled from the debate. But he won't be.

7. Goldberg has been backtracking and mushing up his message, but he doesn't need to sell the whole thing. He just needs to confuse the issue -- above all he needs to divert attention from his own party's chauvinist, authoritarian, militarist, cult-of-personality approach to fascism. (Everything but the roving gangs of thugs.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 1:32 PM
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What I find interesting is the assumption in the linked article that these Scrabulous users would be understanding about Hasbro's actions. All legality aside, what has Hasbro ever done for them? Why should Hasbro deprive them of their hobby just because somebody they employed once invented the basic game?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 1:44 PM
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63: technically because they bought the game from somebody who bought the game from somebody who bought the game from somebody who modified the other game they bought from the guy who'd made it, by modifying a different game he'd made previously.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 1:59 PM
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64: But if we didn't have financial protection throughout such a chain, the quality and quantity of game creation and innovation would fall to a point where modern civilization could no longer function. Keep your eye on the big picture!

In other words, if Disney cannot get IP protection on Winnie-the-Pooh, shit will inevitably get burned down.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:08 PM
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65: Starting with Disney, with any luck.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:10 PM
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I think Tigger is probably a more likely suspect where arson is concerned.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:10 PM
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65: oh, yeah, there's no question a faceless conglomerate having exclusive rights to a 71 year old board game makes me more likely to write music. I mean, duh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:11 PM
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oh, yeah, there's no question a faceless conglomerate having exclusive rights to a 71 year old board game makes me more likely to write music. I mean, duh.

Whether or not that's true, I'm concerned that trafficking in pirated CD's and DVD's is a leading source of financing for TERRORISTS!!1!ONE!


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:13 PM
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I'm concerned that trafficking in pirated CD's and DVD's is a leading source of financing for TERRORISTS!!1!ONE!

I'm concerned that global terrorism is a direct result of Disney's `Princess' campaign.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:15 PM
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Certainly makes the terrorists more sympathetic. I'd blow up Ariel, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:18 PM
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I think Tigger is probably a more likely suspect where arson use of controlled substances is concerned


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:24 PM
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Tigger is a visionary, sure, but it's Christopher Robin who did the hard work of getting changes enacted.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:28 PM
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The legal issues seem somewhat more complicated--you can't copyright "the game of scrabble," exactly, only the graphic elements and textual explanations. So I don't think the arrangement of squares, for example, counts as protectable, though the colors probably do. Trademark is another kettle of fish, of course. Though the report I read indicated it was a copyright rather than trademark claim. Of course India's law may be quite different. And IANAL, &c.

Here's Bill Patry, author of a 7 volume copyright treatise, on the topic (see comments for more). Though of course I'm not sure how well-versed Patry is on Indian copyright law.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:28 PM
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74: This is the hairy thing about IP law, My gut feel is that Hasbro can't constrain all versions of the game, but also that Scrabulous is too close to the original. But I could be way off, and of course IANAL, let alone an IPL


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:32 PM
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They all have their "little helpers", Jesus:

Tigger: cocaine
Pooh: pot (you see how he goes after that honey?)
Eeyore: heroin
Piglet: Xanax
Kanga: Valium
Roo: Ritalin


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:33 PM
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Lumpy: Ecstasy
Rabbit: Crystal Meth
Owl: Oxycontin


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:36 PM
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A. A. Milne: grain alcohol and branch water


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:40 PM
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And Christopher Robin?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:46 PM
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And Christopher Robin?

Psilocybin. That's why he sees all the other characters.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:48 PM
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*All of the Winnie the Pooh characters are fictional characters based on the original works of A.A. Milne and Ernest H. Shepard. The characters and their names are registered trademarks of the Trustees of the Pooh Properties, Dutton Children's Books, or the Disney Corporation. The images on these pages are copyrighted illustrations of the Disney Corporation and/or Dutton Children's Books. The Disney Corporation and Dutton Children's Books in no way endorse this web site, nor are they affiliated with this page in any way. These pages were created by the webmaster/web mistress strictly for the enjoyment of Winnie the Pooh fans from all over the world, both children and adults! For true Pooh enjoyment go to Disney.com...

A great snarky disclaimer on an IP Terrorism Bear a Pooh fan site.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:54 PM
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80: I was going to say LSD, for the same reason.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 2:54 PM
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You realize that Pooh and friends developed their drug habits in 'Nam?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 3:25 PM
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83: I had totally forgotten about that mash-up. The water-skiing/kite-flying thing is priceless.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 3:50 PM
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Tigger is a visionary, sure, but it's Christopher Robin who did the hard work of getting changes enacted.

cracked me up.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 4:22 PM
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71:

Don't kill off Ariel, she's the easiest one to recognize! I still can't tell the difference between Belle and Sleeping Beauty.

Also, my son has a ball with Ariel on it that he loves loves loves. My wife recently had to go to bat for him on the playground because some bigger girls told him that boys can't be princesses. It is now an official rule in our house that boys *can* be princesses, a rule I ratified in my role as Queen.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 5:06 PM
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It is now an official rule in our house that boys *can* be princesses, a rule I ratified in my role as Queen.

Excellent!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 5:08 PM
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Christopher Robin from more innocent times: (fragment of a NatLamp parody.)

Little boy kneels at the foot of his bed
Little blue eyes in a little gold head
Hush! Hush! Don't say a word.
Christopher Robin is bashing his bird.

"'Two with the left, two with the right,
Wasn't it fun in the bath tonight?
The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot...
I locked the door, so I wasn't caught.'"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 5:44 PM
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Shit, I see it's too late to write my impulsive "Excellent!" to Rob's 86.

pre-pwned by SoupBiscuit.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 5:51 PM
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62: At least for a while there's a You tube video of Jonah G on the Daily Show getting some of the ridicule he deserves.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 6:00 PM
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90: There were a couple of points at which Jon Stewart was just great, casting back in his chair staring at the ceiling in disbelief; dropping his jaw; just plain guffawing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 6:09 PM
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I very much want to see the full 18 minutes...


Posted by: Sharkey | Link to this comment | 01-18-08 10:56 PM
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I still can't tell the difference between Belle and Sleeping Beauty.

Belle has a blog.


Posted by: Dr Paisley | Link to this comment | 01-19-08 10:53 PM
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