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FarmVille dev accused of copyright infringement

FarmVille dev accused of copyright infringement

Zynga is responsible for a host of popular Facebook apps, including FarmVille, CityVille and FrontierVille.

Farmville developer Zynga is being sued for using another developer's source code to build some of its popular titles, and not paying its dues. According to Patent Arcade, the charges include copyright infringement, violation of trade secrets and breach of written contract.

Developer SocialApps, responsible for myFarm, claims that it entered into a letter of agreement for Zynga to acquire intellectual rights to the myFarm source code in May 2009.

However, SocialApps says it hasn't seen any of the promised compensation or recognition after the code was shared, meaning that the casual gaming giant failed to honour its side of the deal.

SocialApps is seeking profits and gains from FarmVille, statutory and punitive damages, a permanent injunction and legal costs.

Zynga allegedly used the source code to help create Farmville, CityVille, FrontierVille and FishVille, which all form a part of its suite of popular Facebook games. SocialApps' myFarm was released in November 2008, with FarmVille following in June 2009.

Zynga have been criticised in the past for producing very similar titles to those of its competitors. At release, Farmville was compared to Farm Town, which looked very similar. More recently, Zynga has itself taken action against Brazilian developer Vostu for 'blatant copyright infringement'.

What are your thoughts on social gaming and Zynga's Facebook empire? Let us know in the forums.

11 Comments

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Cerberus90 20th July 2011, 13:57 Quote
I'm sure when Farmville first came out on FB, there was already another game very similar to it. Which Farmville looked to have just been copy and pasted from.

*reads more of article*
It must have been Farm Town.

No one seemed to care though, and Farmville took off and the other one was left to die.
Hence why I removed all Zynga games from my profile, (and then stopped playing silly FB games, :D )
Parge 20th July 2011, 13:57 Quote
'Social gaming' is a new way for bored people to waste time. It makes me want to stab myself in the face with a fork.
Jake123456 20th July 2011, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parge
'Social gaming' is a new way for bored people to waste time. It makes me want to stab myself in the face with a fork.

I'd rather stab myself in the face with a spoon then play them, though...I did get rather addicted to Assassins Creed Legacy on it..


But how much do these games make now? Thousands? When you have people paying to plant a Banana seed or put a potato in the ground? I think they all should be sue'd....
Icy EyeG 20th July 2011, 14:01 Quote
All I have to say about Zynga and Social Gaming is that I hope they stay out of Google+.
wuyanxu 20th July 2011, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
All I have to say about Zynga and Social Gaming is that I hope they stay out of Google+.
+1

Google is my paradise away from those stupid games and stupid apps. yet some tech blogs rank this as a negative for G+.
GeorgeStorm 20th July 2011, 14:15 Quote
I hardly see any games/apps on facebook anymore.
And will someone please tell me whats so good about Google+! To me it just looks like a facebook clone :/
leveller 20th July 2011, 14:19 Quote
Didn't the makers of Angry Birds also 'borrow' the physics engine they used and not credit the engine maker? There was a video of the engine guy confronting one of the Angry Birds guys at a small conference, hugely entertaining, will hunt it out later.

Also there was an almost identical app released on the app store to another, strange named game, can't remember it's name right now.

I think code theft is probably more prevalent than we know about.

added: can anyone recommend any games on Facebook, and I mean quality games not tedious sheep farming - but with maybe a great economic model that requires a bit of thought.
Jake123456 20th July 2011, 16:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Didn't the makers of Angry Birds also 'borrow' the physics engine they used and not credit the engine maker? There was a video of the engine guy confronting one of the Angry Birds guys at a small conference, hugely entertaining, will hunt it out later.

Also there was an almost identical app released on the app store to another, strange named game, can't remember it's name right now.

I think code theft is probably more prevalent than we know about.

added: can anyone recommend any games on Facebook, and I mean quality games not tedious sheep farming - but with maybe a great economic model that requires a bit of thought.

Like I said, I really enjoyed the Assassins Creed game on there, yes its based on what most the games are like on Facebook already, but I enjoyed it due to the story on it.
leveller 20th July 2011, 17:11 Quote
Jake is it a multiplayer game? I meant to say that when I was asking for advice.
Jake123456 20th July 2011, 17:27 Quote
Well, you an add friends to it and that, like the usual bullcrap.

But really its more of a single player game.
leveller 20th July 2011, 17:46 Quote
Yeah, I'm not in to "here is a sheep for your farm" kind of games, I was thinking more like age of empires or other type of RTS that offered more depth.

Something like Planetarion or Astronest even.
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