I have an open source discord bot which I've built myself and I liked a feature of another proprietary discord bot. So can I implement almost similar feature to my bot?

Will that violate copyright rules?

  • Did you look at or have access to the code of that proprietary discord bot?
    – Brandin
    Jul 25, 2022 at 9:58
  • @Brandin No, I don't have access to the source code of the proprietary bot. So I cannot copy their code. I built everything myself.
    – Ar Rakin
    Jul 25, 2022 at 16:19

2 Answers 2


No. Copyright covers the expression of an idea, not the idea itself - in software terms, that means that the code (and things like visual and audio assets) is covered by copyright, but functionality cannot be.

This is nothing to do with open source though - the answer would be exactly the same if you were building your own proprietary bot.

  • 5
    It should be noted that copyright is of course not the only intellectual property right. In particular, there are intellectual property rights which explicitly cover ideas (at least in some sense), for example patents and utility models. Jul 25, 2022 at 2:14
  • 2
    that's "no, it doesn't violate copyright rules" and not "no, you can't"
    – user253751
    Jul 25, 2022 at 14:21

If your user interface is very similar to the program you are copying, this may violate the copyright. And, of course, if your program's name is too similar, as it would be just misspelled.

There may be also software patents but the patents are not automatic. The owner of the idea must have the patent filled in before and the patent should not replicate some idea or algorithm that has been already known. Some countries like EU have very serious restrictions on what can be patented. It is not as obvious as when stripping copyright protection from the movie and then offering it for download.

  • The UI is not that much same but the main idea and goal is actually the same, the implementation is different. Again, I built my bot without copying any code.
    – Ar Rakin
    Jul 25, 2022 at 15:41

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