To everyone in this thread:
Are you saying :
1)If I decide to install more than one mod at a time I am stealing?
2)If I create a new minecraft launcher to manage the mods I've installed together I am a thief?
3)If I share this with a few friends should I be hanged?
4)If I put it on the internet for everyone to download with links to the original mod pages and downloads, credits to their authors, so everyone can enjoy the same mods I do without having to do the constant and tedious work of class merging, debugging, updating, and supporting all while not making any money that it's copyright infringement?
5)first off, mods don't actually qualify for a copyright. Intellectual Property: yes. Copyright: no. derivative-work copyright: in some cases (definitely not IC).
1) No,if you downloaded the mods from their pages yourself.
2) No, only if you don't include the mod itself with the launcher, in other words, there should be a special carpet or some user defined location where you downloaded all the mods, the launcher can from there install the mods however you specified.
3) No, but you should do it privately, only you and your friends are allowed to share it. Mostly because of a privacy things making it hard to tell who shared the mod and who didn't
4) No, as long as you have the permission from the mod developers, they DO have a right to decide how they want their work to be distributed. Sharing download links from the developers its not a bad thing, but sharing your OWN personal link can be seen as a bad thing, once again depending if you have permission from the devs because they have a right to decided how they want their work to be distributed. This is because you are making a public sharing of sorts. Modpacks/Texturepacks/Configpacks fall under this category.
5) Not exactly, im still trying to piece everything together, but any mod made from forge/modloader which is made by editing and recompiling the minecraft code basically inherits any copyright minecraft have, at least according to the Berne Convention (This convention also states that any work you make gains automatic copyright whenever you request it or not and yes a lot of countries are signatories of this convention including Sweden, Germany and USA ). This piece of text its from a coder i know that have a better grasping on it:
Mods generally fall under the licensing umbrella of their parent, unless
they can be demonstrated to be 100% standalone/independent code, such
as a plugin that runs via independent dll. A mod that involves editing
the original code and recompiling it would most certainly be considered
part of the originating license, and while you technically own the
copyright to it, you're also subject to any terms within the license
which may or may not restrict the ways you can benefit from the
Long story short; Yes, it's copyrighted, but your copyright might not be
worth crap and the number of situations in which you will ever benefit
from having the copyright are likely negligible and the cost of exerting
your right to the copyright against someone trying to steal your work
would generally be prohibitive.
Edit: A response from a question i recently made him:
FenixR: And a mod made with an API, in this case called Forge, made from editing the original code and recompiling it would still inherit the copyright from the Parent, in this case minecraft yes?
Thank you very much now i have a better understanding on it.
Coder: Copyright and license both, yes, they're two independent things that can interfere with each other.
This is the crux of issues between software giants like microsoft,
apple, google, oracle and sun all suing each other over who has right to
You'd have limited ownership of the changes you made, but of course
that'd also require you to be able to prove it wasn't something someone
else did previously. Code related copyright is a tangled mess because
unless someone actually registers their work it's hard to prove who did
it first, and whether or not two people arrived at the same code
independently or by copying one another.