I've been, very slowly, working on a game similar to Minecraft and Hytale, and when I am at the point, include features similar to these mods:

As I was thinking about the workflow of this project, I wondered if I would have to have some sort of credit towards the creators of the mods, or have to not implement the features / change it in a way where it is not as similar.

I've read up on this question, but I feel as though it is questionable as some mod creators require credit when creating a modpack.

In simple terms, if I made these into features for my game, from scratch, not as in taking their code, how similar could it be or would I have to credit the original creator of the mod?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks to me like the Q&A you've linked answers this question. It's not clear to me why you believe it does not apply to this case. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


It's possible for one party to infringe on other works of another even if they didn't use the other party's code. In fact, that's typically the situation - most infringement suits are based on similarity & likeness. There are some cases that allege code theft, but those seem to be the exception rather than the norm.

The relevant legal system determines what is "too similar". In the US, cases are argued based on prior case law and the evidence at hand including but not limited to how similar the products appear, similarity of other uncontested products & evidence of intent. As already covered in the accepted answer to the linked question, game mechanics are not protected by copyright. However, it does protect the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

Certain aspects of a games fall under scène à faire. These are elements that are considered necessary for the genre in question. While you cannot copy these elements directly from another game, the use of said elements do not constitute infringement. For instance, the use of a speedometer in a racing game would almost certainly be deemed fair whereas replicating the speedometer from an existing vehicle or game would not fall under scène à faire & could be grounds for an infringement suit.

You should consult a legal professional if you want to know how likely it is that a particular product infringes on another.

Regarding attribution, legally that depends on whether or not you benefited from material that was released to you under a license. I don't know if there are any prior cases that clearly spell out what is & what is not a derivative work. I have read of projects that try to avoid the problem all together by not even looking at the code of similar projects if the other projects are under an incompatible license.

That said, even if you don't have a legal obligation to give credit to others, it's generally considerate to do so.


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