Minecraft has a list of "attributions" here, which only includes links (and only to some dependencies) rather than copyright and license notices.

The EULA does not include any of this information. As far as I can tell, none of the legal documents that you have to read before using Minecraft do. The installer and launcher do not make you agree to any additional terms, and the in-game credits do not include any mention of third-party software.

As I understand it, since Minecraft uses e.g. LWJGL, they should include this BSD-style license somewhere in their binary distribution.

Grepping through the Minecraft installation directories, the only copyright notices I can find are either part of the bundled JRE or for the launcher. The game JAR itself only contains a "Copyright Mojang AB" statement. The LWJGL JAR downloaded by the launcher contains no copyright statements at all.

I suppose my questions are:

  • Is putting the names of these libraries on an webpage really enough to comply with the terms of the LGPL, BSD and MIT licenses that they are covered by?

  • Does the fact that these libraries are being downloaded separately from the Minecraft JAR somehow exempt Microsoft from having to include their license texts? Does this exempt Minecraft itself from having to display their copyright and license notices?

And if not:

  • Would including copyright notices hidden somewhere in the Minecraft JAR - a zipped file that most players would not know of, or know how to search through - be enough to comply?

  • Does Microsoft even have to care? What could the author(s) of these dependencies do about the infringement?

  • What infringement do you suspect? Most of the libraries mentioned on that page use "permissive" open source licenses, which does not require much to be able to use and redistribute them. For example zlib basically requires only "This notice may not be removed or altered from any source distribution," but for binary-only distributions it does not impose any additional notice requirement. – Brandin Dec 6 at 13:52
  • Some of the libraries have an Apache license, and the Apache license does give specific requirements of where to place attributions in the documentation. No, placing it on a page on your Web site is not enough. But you'd have to look at the documentation with Minecraft to see if they complied. And you could only sue them if you wrote one of those libraries that supposedly violated the license terms. See Open Source StackExchange for more information about open source licenses. – Brandin Dec 6 at 13:55
  • @Brandin LWJGL, for instance, requires binary distributions to include the license text "in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution". I would think this implies I can go into the Minecraft installation directory and find a license file somewhere, at the very least. Since this is not the case, either my interpretation is wrong (and I would like to know what the correct one is) or the license is being infringed. – Andy C. Dec 6 at 14:09
  • Yes, they have to include it, but not necessarily in the installation directory. It could have been in a printed manual if you bought the game in a box. Check wherever the documentation was placed for the game. – Brandin Dec 6 at 14:53
  • This question would be better at Open Source StackExchange if you focus it more (e.g. on LWJGL compliance specifically). It is probably technically a duplicate or already answered on the site with regards to other Apache licensed things. – Brandin Dec 7 at 5:35

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