Minecraft Author Claims That the Ending of the Game Is Free to Use for All, Microsoft Does Not Hold Any Copyright

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If you have ever tried completing Minecraft, you would know that the game serenades you with a poem once you kill the Ender Dragon in the End dimension.

Known as The End Poem, most Minecraft fanatics know what’s in store for them before the credits roll. But did you know who owns the copyright to it? And no, it’s not owned by Minecraft developers Mojang or its parent company Microsoft.

Let me shed some light on that aspect. The End Poem was written by Irish writer Julian Gough. In a recent blog post, Gough shared the origins of The End Poem and its journey over the course of the previous decade, starting with Minecraft creator Notch’s tweet, asking for a writer to pen “a silly over-the-top out-of-nowhere text for when you win Minecraft.”

Gough got the opportunity, and he soon wrote what later became the famous poem. However, when he was asked to sign a contract to give away the rights to The End poem to Mojang, he refused following failed negotiations with former CEO Carl Manneh.

The writer was then asked to sign the contract once again prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang. But Gough refused again. And ever since it was written and added to the game, neither Mojang nor Microsoft have ever owned the rights to one of the main aspects of the highest-selling game of all time.

So, what happened to Gough’s ownership of The End poem in the end (No pun intended)? In the same post, Gough revealed that he has “liberated” The End Poem by giving it away to the public domain, after renouncing his rights to the copyright.

This means that anyone can do whatever they want with the End Poem and its contents, because like Gough said, “It’s a gift from the universe.”


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