Zynga gets sued for alleged copyright infringement

Zynga may be riding high due to its highly successful Facebook-based social games like Farmville, Cityville and Empires and Allies. However, another company has decided to take Zynga to court over alleged copyright infringement. Patent Arcade reports that California-based company SocialApps filed a lawsuit on June 17, charging Zynga with "copyright infringement, violation of trade secrets, breach of written contract, breach of implied-in-fact contract, and breach of confidence."

In its lawsuit, SocialApps, which has released social networking games on its own, stated that in 2008 it released myFarm which allowed gamers to create and grow their own virtual farms. The lawsuit states that in 2009, Zynga "approached SocialApps to acquire intellectual rights and source code for myFarm." After the two companies allegedly entered into an agreement for Zynga to check out the myFarm source code, SocialApps claims that it "never heard from Zynga again and couldn’t get in touch with them when they tried." Zynga then launched Farmville in June 2009. It currently has well over 30 million players and at its peak had 80 million players.

SocialApps claims that after Zynga "having had access to, and knowledge of, their source code then used it to create Farmville, without ever compensating them or receiving their permission." SocialApps is seeking damages of $100,000 along with any profits that Zynga has generated from Farmville "in excess of $500,000." SocialApps also states that it is its belief that Zynga used SocialApps' source code to develop other games. So far Zynga has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Quote: "After the two companies allegedly entered into an agreement for Zynga to check out the myFarm source code, SocialApps claims that it "never heard from Zynga again and couldn't get in touch with them when they tried." "

It is possible that Zynga never saw the source code at all. No where does it say Zynga SAW the code then avioded contact.

Kreuger said,
How about you don´t give real money into a game that gives you nothing real back

does this apply to any computer game ever made? people pay the money to get satisfaction and enjoyment, i don't think they would ever expect something physical or of real world value in return.

houlty said,

does this apply to any computer game ever made? people pay the money to get satisfaction and enjoyment, i don't think they would ever expect something physical or of real world value in return.


Shhhh! Common sense is not allowed here!

houlty said,

does this apply to any computer game ever made? people pay the money to get satisfaction and enjoyment, i don't think they would ever expect something physical or of real world value in return.

It's a little different to buy a game. But I don't understand people who give real money to have facebook money and the like. How about you spend it on something useful? Most of these people probably need as much money as they can get and waste it on stupid **** like this

I know a lot of Farmville fanatics are going to keep an eye on this. In their eyes, it would be the end of the world if Farmville gets the axe down the line over this.

ir0nw0lf said,
I know a lot of Farmville fanatics are going to keep an eye on this. In their eyes, it would be the end of the world if Farmville gets the axe down the line over this.

I'm sure that will never happen. There'll be a settlement... And then I'm sure Zynga will have less money for bug fixes (Not like they do that anyway)...

you're not scamming people if they are willing to pay for it.
I guess Ms Live is another scammer charging a subscription base. Netflix them damn ******* for charging a monthly fee. Damn them internet providers for hooking me with their dirty tactics that preyed on my weak mind. Now I'm addicted to the internet.

See how utterly foolish your statement sounds?

OH this makes me soooo happy! They got too rich too quickly by scamming people into their micro-payment scheme, preying on the weak and using addictive tactics. Yes, it is true that it's nobody's responsibility to be looking out for people with weaknesses to spending money on digital peppers and tomatoes but these jackasses use every dirty tactic in the book to hook people and psychologically force them to pay money for really nothing. I've been waiting for them to go down ever since I've seen FarmVille and the despicable business model behind it and other Facebook games like it.

ManOfMystery said,
... these jackasses use every dirty tactic in the book to hook people and psychologically force them to pay money for really nothing.

Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing/advertising, this is no different than seeing an ad on tv, billboard on highway etc. It's like saying Matel are jackasses for selling a Barbie doll which every kid wants, using tactics such as making all those clothes, Ken etc. And "paying for nothing"?! How is this different from buying a song or a movie online, what more do you have when paying for a movie?

Why would you let someone have access to your source code before the sale is final.... that is pure stupidity right there.

Ash said,
Why would you let someone have access to your source code before the sale is final.... that is pure stupidity right there.

This is actually a common practice when a company is looking to purchase another company. The buyer will enter into an NDA or similar agreement in order to get access to proprietary and confidential information relating to the business in order to ensure they are making a sound purchase and getting their money's worth. It's called due diligence.

Simon- said,
Good. Zynga are scum who rip off others' games and then outmarket them.
+1
I read an article somewhere saying that the CEO doesn't like innovation, just copying.

ahhell said,
They should be sued for making such ****ty "games".

You forgot to say "in my opinion". While I don't play the games myself and agree with you, I know plenty of intelligent people who enjoy them.