mosaic (masochistically) wrote,

What exactly is allowed, and who says so?

Our friend Albert Hahn says: “I'm not even sure I favor a vote. Last time I suggested we simply allow Sowpods games to be rated rather than force all players to play to one word list or the other, if they want games rated. Of course this is something John Williams has said he will not allow.”


I have some questions.

Is anyone in charge? Who decides these things? People keep saying things like “no, don’t take it to a vote; just do such-and-such.” Who decides whether something should be voted on? It’s not a democracy; what the heck is it?

Could a director advertise and run a tournament that is to be held, say, in a church basement – using the OSPD without the dirty words (you know, in deference to the pastor’s wishes or something)? Could such a tournament be rated? Who would be the authority that decided that question?

Could a director have a SOWPODS division within a large tournament? Could it be NSA rated? Could fees from both types of dictionary divisions intermingle? Who decides this?

Could a person run an unrated SOWPODS tournament, with tournament fees? Could they advertise it online, in the newsletter, or otherwise? Who grants such permissions? Is it a copyright issue? Is it an NSA competition issue?

Could a separate players organization be formed, coexistent with the NSA? Does one need permission for such a thing? Could a SOWPODS players organization be formed in North America? Again, does one need permission to do so? From whom?

Should someone today seeking to write about Scrabble (historical, fiction, how-to, whatever) direct their publisher to seek permission from Hasbro? From the NSA? How much control would Hasbro expect to have over the content? (Would depend on the type of book, I imagine.) If the topic were "How To", would one expect Hasbro's legal dept to consult with the NSA for guidance? Wouldn't that constitute a conflict of interest?

Under what aegis does the NSA represent the Scrabble brand? I.e., NSA publications are permitted to promote and report upon Scrabble activities, and use the Scrabble brand name, logos, and board designs in print. Is the NSA a department of Hasbro? (I don't think so -- I believe it is an independent marketing firm that operates under some kind of contract with Hasbro.) What is the nature of that contract? Is it exclusive? Need it be? Could other contracts be entered into, licensing other entities to also promote and depict Scrabble in formats and ways approved by Hasbro? Who decides this?

- Marsh
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