If I were to watch a video on how to do something on youtube, is it legal to post that same method in my own video? Say, for example, I saw a minecraft video on how to create something. Would I be able to make my own video creating the same thing in the same way without citing the source? What are the bounds?

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    Ideas are not copyrightable, and plagiarism is not (usually) illegal. It's unethical, though.
    – phoog
    Aug 10, 2020 at 3:43
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    @Trish That's very misleading. Plagiarism is when you misrepresent ideas as original when they aren't. The question of whether or not copying text is legal has nothing to do with whether it's misrepresented as original or not. The question of whether it's legal or illegal and the question of whether it's plagiarism or not plagiarism will be completely different questions. Aug 10, 2020 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


An "idea" is not copyrightable, though the video itself is.

There's nothing legally stopping you seeing a video about a villager apartment, for example, and making your own "How to make a villager apartment block" video. That said, some people will consider it unethical- provoke Youtube drama at your own risk.

However, there are some things you can't steal. The script, for example, can be covered by copyright. If you were to repeat the wording of large sections of the video, that would not be allowed. Similarly, including clips of the video itself would be problematic.

  • Awesome! Would would I be free to use someone else's commands (basically lines of code) or would this also be considered taking a large portion of a script?
    – dogking57
    Aug 11, 2020 at 2:09
  • @dogking57 How much code are we talking about? Aug 11, 2020 at 11:33
  • Pretty much one line of code. It really depends. I was just curious because the code has keywords which many people would use. If you want make a similar (for example) custom potion, they would likely have to copy the command because there is really only one way to write it. They could try and make there way around it by using more than one line of code, but it would be much easier to just copy that one line.
    – dogking57
    Aug 11, 2020 at 19:37
  • @dogking57 Probably fine, though you could just ask permission. Aug 11, 2020 at 20:02

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