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The New York Times is targeting Wordle clones with legal takedowns

A person plays Wordle on their smartphone at the kitchen table of their home on November 26th, 2023, in Birmingham, United Kingdom
Some developers have already taken down their Wordle clones to avoid a legal battle with The New York Times. | Photo by Mike Kemp / In Pictures via Getty Images

Hundreds of games inspired by Wordle, the popular web-based word puzzle, are at risk of being deleted due to copyright takedowns issued by The New York Times. As reported by 404 Media, The New York Times — which purchased Wordle back in 2022 — has filed several DMCA notices over Wordle clones created by GitHub coders, citing its ownership over the Wordle name and copyrighted gameplay including 5×6 tile layout and gray, yellow, and green color scheme.

Two takedown requests were issued in January against unofficial Korean and Bosnian-language versions of the game. Additional requests were filed this week against Wirdle — a variant created by dialect group I Hear Dee in 2022 to promote the Shaetlan language — and Reactle, an open-source W…

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