Saturday, August 02, 2008

Scrabulously Wrong!

The Open Source revolution is here to stay, say most internet and computer experts. The open source revolution which has spiralled from writing operating system programms like Linux to application ‘widgets’ for various we based applications is currently in vougue with most programming savvy people indulging in. The advantage of the open source revolution is volunatry sharing of user generated ‘open’ source codes for the applications which can be sold at a price if the developer so intends, but essentially is a free to be upgraged, modified and marketed by any user if he or she is also into coding. This is a tremendous opportuity for millions of computer programmers around the world who are able to use thier coding knowledge to build better models of a basic functional tool and market it for profits.
But there are many, for lack of a better word, discrepancies in the open source revolution. Take for instance a situation when an open source program creates an application which replicates a patented real world product, service or an experience in the virtual world. What are the rules which govern this? Is it in violation of the patent rules? This is exactly what is happening in the case of Hasbro vs Scrabulous. Scrabulous, developed by two Kolkata residents, Jayant and Rajat Agarwalla is the virtual version of the hit word game Scrabble which is a patented product owned by Hasbro.

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