from speech department
This post was written before today’s news that the NY Times bought Wordle. It will be interesting to see if suddenly “IP issues” start to become more important to the NY Times than they were to the original developer…
Just a week ago we discussed how a man got scammed wordleBrowser Brain style game whose creator insists on being free and non-monetized. In this case, Zach Shakked copied the game with only minor additional features and released it as an app with the same name, wordle, only to find out that the entire internet decided it was a slap in the face and helped get the app pulled from the Apple and Google stores. It was a story about how a bad actor was dealt with without anyone having to go through IP or legal avenues.
Well here we go again with another unaffiliated wordle the app siphons off money from people who think they’re getting the browser game in an app…only this time the recipient of that undue income accrues a ton of goodwill by not being a fool about it.
As spotted by GR+, Josh Wardle’s Wordle has led billions of confused (hello!) gamers to accidentally download a five-year-old app with the same name onto their mobile devices. The result being, the creator of the other Wordle ended up receiving nearly 200,000 downloads within a few days. More than he had received in total in the previous five years. And in turn, generating a whole bunch of ad revenue for him.
Steven Cravotta created this app five years ago as a teenager, almost strictly to practice his coding skills. When he woke up the other day to suddenly find ad revenue coming from the since forgotten app, he didn’t just sit down and start counting all the dollar signs floating in front of his eyes. Instead, he started tweeting how weird it all was and how much he wished the media would do a better job of differentiating between wordle browser game and all wordle mobile app.
Here’s how a mobile game I created 5 years ago was suddenly blown up by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Jimmy Fallon.
— Steven (@StevenCravotta) January 12, 2022
If you follow this tweet thread all the way through, you’ll notice a few things. Cravotta spends a lot of time pointing out how bizarre this all is. Then he mentions that he is reaching out to wordle creator Josh Wardle to find out what his favorite charity is so he can donate all that money to the cause of his choice. The two apparently talked and landed on Boost! West Oakland, an organization that empowers young people in Oakland, California through school tutoring. And, while he was at it, he pointed out that his most recent and professional apps are available.
In other words, he acted reasonably and humanely, acknowledging that it was a bunch of confused people accidentally downloading his game. As a result, just when the internet kicked in, what a jerk the wordle a copycat seemed to be, as did he and a bunch of mass media sites reporting on how human and awesome Cravotta is. This drives more people to its current applications.
Sometimes a little public reaction is all you need, rather than worrying about IP.
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Filed Under: charity, confusion, human, intellectual property, josh wardle, steven cravatta, wordle