forum Forumsplay_arrow Discussions fiber_manual_record General


Can you really copyright a Minecraft map or other creation?

3 emeralds9 replies1,080 views
created 11/07/2017 5:13 pm by Rimsky
last reply 11/20/2017 8:06 pm
I have looked over many different threads all over the internet about this subject, and the answers I have found have been very, very contradictory. Can you copy a Minecraft map or other arrangement of any number of blocks in the game and put it on a public server legally, and does anyone have the ability to take any sort of justified legal action on you for copying a Minecraft creation?

And if you can in fact copyright a Minecraft creation, to what degree does someone have to significantly change a work they copied before they *can* claim that it is theirs and that it only "looks similar" to another person's creation? And could they get away with that?

I have heard people say that you can't copyright a Minecraft creation because that Mojang "technically" owns what you create, but then I hear others say that Mojang "technically" does not own what you create in the game, and that it only belongs to you.

The reason I'm asking is because on my own server, one of my co-owners wants to help me create a map, but they want the map to be made based off of another person's map which is on Youtube. They said that it doesn't have to be exactly the same, and that they don't have to create the entire creation and that we can simply modify the details enough that it only vaguely resembles the original creation. Is it illegal to do that? Regardless of if it's illegal or not, I would rather not base my ideas off of someone else's ideas, I would rather make works that came from my own mind randomly, because then I can proudly say "this design came randomly to my head with no outside-influence that I am immediately aware of." But still I'd like to know if it really is illegal or not.

And if copying a map is illegal, would it at any point not be illegal? If copying a map made out of thousands of precisely placed blocks is illegal, would it also be illegal to place a single block in a specific location in a specific map seed, because "someone else has also once placed that block in the same coordinate in the same exact map, therefore it is an original creation"? What about creations such as named items? It seems silly to me to copyright something like, say, a chair made out of a stair block and 2 signs because "somebody else created that arrangement of blocks first and has placed it into a server, so you can't use that design without their permission." But if that's silly, then why would a map, of any size, big, small, huge, or teensy tiny, be any more serious? Is there a difference when you're talking about scale like that? Questions like these have been answered by "none of this is copyrightable because Mojang owns it all", which seems fair, but if it was that obvious then why do people say that that's false? Is it true or not, or is there simply no definitive answer because basically nobody cares enough to make it a law that you can't copy a *Minecraft map*? And if all of this is still illegal, then would it be illegal to accidentally create a perfect or near perfect copy of a creation without ever having known that it was something someone had previously created? Simply by pure chance and accident? And if that isn't illegal, then what's stopping someone from just copying a creation and just saying "oh, someone else already created this? that's just a coincidence, i had absolutely no idea, im but an innocent and totally original person and you cant do anything about itttt"? How could something like that be fought against? All of this seems kind of stupid to me, but I'd like to know.

And please give reasons for why the scenarios I listed would or would not be illegal, because I've heard people say "You can't copyright it." and then the next person down say "Yes you can." without any explanation. It may be obvious to you, but it clearly isn't to the guy contradicting you, which doesn't help me in any way.

Sorry if this was the wrong place to put this thread, I didn't know exactly where to put it, but "creations" seemed to be the most relevant because this has to do with copyrighting Minecraft creations, but please move it if it's in the wrong place.
Posted by avatar
Level 1 : New Miner

comment Login or register to post a reply.

9 replies

11/20/2017 8:06 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Pixel Painter
You can't. Minecraft is a registered product of Mojang AB and Notch Development AB. To be exact, Minecraft is a brand owned by a company owned by Microsoft.

Minecraft's assets including the Creeper and other unique mobs are registered trademarks of the Minecraft game itself.
11/20/2017 7:52 pm
Level 4 : Apprentice Engineer
Hard to say, to be honest. In the publishing industry, there's a similar problem with copyrighting book cover illustrations/book jackets simply because of the loopholes in the system. In the case of Book Covers, unless it is a specific "logo"/picture so-to-speak, then there's going to be some difficulty whereas a person hiring a freelance cover artist for a single cover, might just have it stuck in a form of limbo in the legal system.

As far as copyrighting a map goes, I'd say it is unlikely. As best as I recall, copyrights are intended to protect intellectual property that was made by it's creator, with regards to selling that specific property in the interest of gaining profit or protecting it from unauthorized third party use. Accounting for Minecraft's Eula agreement, the clause intended to prevent people from completely and derogatorily profiteering off the game might have something to say about the matter.
11/10/2017 7:14 pm
Level 32 : Artisan Dwarf
From what I read you cannot even copyright your mods. So if that is the case then you probably cannot copyright maps.
11/10/2017 12:47 pm
Level 29 : Expert Lego Builder
The difference between "A stair with two signs", and a "map of any size, big, small, huge, or teensy tiny", is the amount of time that is spent working on it. Some of us spend our time on Minecraft building for money, now if you come and steal our work, that wouldn't be okay. If you went and sold our work, then it'd be even more serious.

Like does that really seem okay to you?

Someone spends all their time and effort working on something, and you just steal it and say it's your own? Some people have spent up to years on builds, some ideas are truly unique. And then some kid who manages to get a schematic of it just imports it in and says it's his? Or sells it? Yeahno. I'd refer to Hegemony's comment as to the laws behind it.
11/08/2017 10:44 pm
Level 31 : Artisan Wolf Whisperer
Who cares about the law, nothing is illegal if you can run fast enough.
11/09/2017 1:32 pm
Level 2 : Apprentice Crafter
Um No I dont think so
11/09/2017 1:14 am
Level 32 : Artisan Architect
Minecraft at this point is a tool of creation. Copyright by law in most territories is defined as if you make an original copy of something hence the term "copyright" the right to make copies of it. So yes by definition, anything you make by default has copyright. The legal onus is that you must prove original creation, such as you indeed are the author for example a book, a song and such, those are easier to prove as manuscripts exist, copyright might be harder to proof for Minecraft maps so probably keep a development log of it or something.
11/09/2017 1:31 am
Level 5 : Apprentice Crafter
No, not really. You can't because, y'know, it's not that sort of thing you are meant to copyright. Nice question, but you cover this.
11/07/2017 10:06 pm
Level 17 : Journeyman Network
Most of the time, you rely on the community or place you upload your creation to help stop the copying and editing of already made maps. An example of this is if I were to remake Zombie Seige By Disco, When I upload it I might be banned or have all my points wipped unless I made the new version quite different and unique, and as long as I built it all myself

Planet Minecraft



© 2010 - 2019