According to Findlaw, Hasbro, owners of the rights in the board game Monopoly, have threatened to sue David Chang for creating a new game, Ghettopoly, in which "playas" build crack houses on Cheap Trick Avenue instead of hotels on the Boardwalk. According to Hasbro, who describe the game as “reprehensible”, claim that Ghettopoly violates its intellectual property rights. Hasbro has licensed many variations of Monopoly, but it says Chang never sought the company's approval. Ghettopoly has outraged black leaders with its "playas" acting like pimps and game cards reading, "You got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50”. Properties in the game include Westside Liquor, Harlem, The Bronx and Long Beach City.

On his website, Chang and promises that more games -- Hoodopoly, Hiphopopoly, Thugopoly and Redneckopoly -- are coming soon: "It draws on stereotypes not as a means to degrade, but as a medium to bring together in laughter", Chang said. "If we can't laugh at ourselves ... we'll continue to live in blame and bitterness".

The IPKat accepts that Hasbro has every right to protect itself against attacks on the integrity of its Monopoly, but wonders whether Ghettopoly should even be construed as such an attack. The names are different; the games are different and it does not appear that the one is any sense a substitute for the other. How well would Ghettopoly in the marketplace -- and for how long – without the publicity generated by Hasbro’s complaint?

NEW DEVELOPMENT: On 22 October Hasbro commenced legal proceedings. Details from the Trademark Blog here

What they say about Ghettopoly here, here, here and here
Creating a new game? Click here
“In the Ghetto”? Click here, here or here

GHETTOPOLY GAME UPSETS HASBRO GHETTOPOLY GAME UPSETS HASBRO Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, October 16, 2003 Rating: 5

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