Microsoft Puts Blocks On In-Browser Minecraft Clone


A developer who implemented Minecraft in Javascript to bring the “game onto the web” has been served with a takedown notice by Microsoft. While citing breaches of the DMCA, the notice adds that the variant of the popular world-building game also breaches other rights belonging to the company, including trademarks.

Minecraft is one of the most recognizable and popular videogames of the last decade.

Created by Swedish developer Markus Persson (Notch) and released by developer Mojang in 2011, Minecraft was subsequently acquired in 2014 by Microsoft as part of a $2.5 billion deal.

Over the years, Minecraft has been made available on many platforms and along the way has gathered millions of fans. Minecraft Classic is even available to play in a web browser by simply visiting However, a developer who had a similar idea recently received some unwanted correspondence from Microsoft.

Taiwan-based student and self-taught programmer Ian Huang has been working on MC.JS, a project which he also hoped would bring Minecraft to the web using Javascript.

“MC.JS brings the best-selling PC game Minecraft into the web with the power of Javascript,” Huang wrote in a now-deleted Github page.

“Having to open an additional app to play a game is sometimes too tiring. Therefore, I thought it’d be interesting to somehow implement Minecraft with Javascript, essentially bringing the whole Minecraft game onto the web,” he continued.

“This not only takes away the tedious process of installing the game, it also brings the entire game to players within a couple [of] clicks.”

While there many people out there who might appreciate such a project, the folks at Microsoft are not among them. Despite MC.JS being “a work in progress” with “still a lot of features waiting to be implemented”, the company took action to have it taken down.

In a DMCA notice sent to Github, where the project was hosted, brand protection and anti-piracy outfit AppDetex advised the development platform that MC.JS infringes several aspects of Microsoft’s intellectual property rights.

“The software being distributed on the reported site..[..]..violates these rights by providing users with an application that purports to act as a copy of Minecraft using javascript, encouraging users to provide their official Microsoft logins and circumvent Minecraft’s servers and logins for official gameplay,” the notice reads.

“On top of that, the download is being advertised with copyrighted Minecraft imagery and textures, acting as the backdrop to the site, without Microsoft’s consent or authorization. This is not an action protected by any fair use doctrine,” it continues.

The notice of infringement was sent under the DMCA (17 U.S.C. § 512) but also notes that Minecraft trademarks have been infringed. As a result, Github took down the project, which may or may not bring the effort to an end.

TorrentFreak contacted the developer of MC.JS for additional comment but at the time of publication, we were yet to receive a response.

Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.

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