The possibility of a Minecraft fork

The following text was slightly adapted from my >2000 characters message in our discord.

Also, i’m not a lawyer. When i say “legally” or refer to any legality, do not take it as legal advice.

Mojang is cracking down on guns in commercial servers, and porn mods (such as Jenny).
Children do play this game, but why should everyone and everything take a hit? What if i want guns? I don’t want server owners to disable all monetization, they want to have bread too… And practically the same thing happened with chat reporting, why?! I’m starting to dream about the day community forks the game and takes it in their own direction, completely ignoring the bullshit that is brewing since Micro$oft acqusition. It might not be legally possible, but still.

The main hurdle is EULA. You must accept it to “legally” play, so any chance of fork happening lies in piracy.

I think their download API is not protected with any DRM, so you could, in theory, just call home and ask for metadata which you can use to download the game without paying to them, and possibly without agreeing to their EULA, but you going to hope they don’t close that door later when migration officially ends.

Hypothetically, we got the game. Cool. Now you can play in offline servers. It is enough to be sort of separate from Microsoft and Mojang. But it is not very convenient or safe to let anyone with any nickname into servers without authentication, and it can lead to RCEs. So it needs some central (or not), “fake” community authentication server that will act as a replacement for real authentication servers which will be used for security purposes. But such central server will cause major headaches because there might be multiple community-official authentication servers and each game server will use it’s own and you need to do the switcheroo to play on multiple servers. It is easily solved with mods like relogin (although you need to code the switching into relogin, or maybe write your own mod) which could switch auth server on per-gameserver basis. You could add endpoint to query game server’s preferred auth server. Or you could add endpoint to auth servers themselves that will respond to you with other auth servers they trust (so A trusting B means B players can join A servers without fuzz). Such auth server reimplementation already exist, and authentication process is somewhat documented.

Now we assume that we can download the game, we have some authentication authority (with possible decentralization). Which means we can play the game without accepting EULA and compromising on security… until the inevitable closure of download API, kickstarting the actual forking process.

One way of getting the game now (with the closed download servers) is plain old torrents. Not legal, but there is no way you will get minecraft “legally” without accepting EULA when their download server now requires valid license. Torrents will distribute the base game which is the only part that needs gray ways of sharing, patches or mods are probably fine to be left on clear web, but if that’s not the case torrents all the way.

And now the community can develop its own minecraft (what the modding has done for years, and that is basically what modding is). Patch out telemetry, chat reporting, make minecarts actually viable, add fireflies, birch forests, everything and anything. No Mojang involved (*besides base game/engine)

(Fun fact: while writing this in Discord i hit free character limit and entered the Nitro extended character limit)

don’t know about decentralized auth servers, idk even how would that even work, but alternative auth server would be great
fork is an interesting idea, but i think we should