The GHETTOPOLY Version of Monopoly Leads To a Legal Action

December 2003


Whilst the game of Monopoly may be economically out of date (houses in London cost more than a few hundred pounds now) but the makers of board game are to take legal action against spoof version Ghettopoly, which satirises hip-hop culture. The game, based on the traditional family board game, became an instant hit when it went on sale in the US and Europe earlier this year. However, Hasbro, which makes Monopoly, is claiming copyright violation and trademark rights against Ghettopoly. The game sees players get rich through buying stolen properties. In place of the Monopoly top hat, little car and dog players, Ghettopoly players use machine gun, marijuana leaf and basketball icons. According to Ghettopoly creator David Chang, the game also sees “playas” competing with each other by “pimpin’ hoes, building crack houses and getting car jacked”. And instead of Monopoly’s Mayfair or Park Lane, Ghettopoly’s properties include Northside Liquor, The Pawn Shop, Ling Ling’s Massage Parlour or Tyron’s Gun Shop. Apart from copyright and trademark issues, the game has caused outrage in the States. A number of retailers of the game in the US and Europe have decided to stop selling it.

The original Monopoly was first created in 1935. It is now available in 26 languages and has sold an estimated 500 million copies.


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