Julian Gough made Minecraft’sfamous End Poem part of the public domain via Twitter. This poem is a classic piece of writing in Mojang’s survival crafting game. Gough did not sign away the rights to the poem when Minecraft was purchased in 2014.
“I never signed any contract giving up rights to my story for any reason. Gough tweeted that they are all mine. Microsoft has never owned Minecraft’s ending. It is mine. It’s mine.
Gough explained in his Substack that he was recommended by Markus “Notch”, the original Minecraftcodesigner, as someone who could write something for the game. The End Poem is an 8-minute text scroll that players will see after they kill the Ender Dragon. It effectively ends the story of Minecraft.
Gough was talking to Mojang CEO Carl Manneh while he wrote the ending. He explains that there was a “weird back and forth” series of emails between Manneh and Gough, which Gough admits to being confused about. “Carl was Markus’s friend, but it didn’t automatically mean that he my best friend.”
Gough, who received EUR20,000 (or just over $21,000) from Manneh as payment, admitted that he refused to sign a contract that would have allowed Mojang permanent rights to The End Song.
Concerning other aspects of the pre-contract agreement, such as “massive exposure” to the Minecraft community, Gough these benefits never materialized from Manneh nor Persson.
In August 2014, just a month after Microsoft bought Minecraft.Gough received a second contract from Manneh, to give up the End Song rights. Despite repeated requests from Manneh and Persson to sign the contract, it was not signed.
“There are no bad guys. Gough posted the following tweets and Substack: “Do not bother Markus or Carl (or Microsoft) about it.” Gough stated that the other parties were simply following the rules of capitalism. These rules are what many people have adopted as natural law.
Gough stated that he was making the End Song available for public use, arguing that the universe is the true contributor to its existence. Gough’s only request for donations is to his Paypal.
It is not owned by anyone, but we all have it. It lives in a different way than that.
Gough reiterated that Microsoft cannot legally stop any person from using the poem in any way. He also requested that Microsoft “just continue sharing my story with all of the world.”
It’s now possible to play with it. Have fun.”