TikTok’s new Live Studio app, a live streaming platform designed for Windows, supposedly borrows code from Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). It turns out that this directly violates OBS’ license policy, even though OBS is open source.
As reported by Protocoltwitter user @Naaackers posted a tweet containing what is believed to be code from TikTok’s Live Studio app. The user credits the original programmer who discovered the code and states that if the code is indeed valid, “it’s a fork of OBS”.
Do you remember yesterday’s news about the release of a TikTok upload platform? Turns out it’s a range of @OBSProject
Congratulations to @HunterAP23 for reporting it
STOP STEALING OBS JESUS pic.twitter.com/kx8ckK3MXS
— Naaackers (@Naaackers) December 16, 2021
Now, since OBS is an open-source platform, things get a bit tricky from TikTok’s perspective. Like another user points out, Reddit uses OBS for its desktop streaming. However, it is used as a fork of OBS on GitHub, an open source software community.
In a follow-up, another user states that if TikTok plans to use code from OBS, it must make the source code publicly available, as directed by the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. OBS may be able to take legal action against TikTok if the company fails to take appropriate action.
Ben Torell of OBS, who works as a business developer, stepped in to acknowledge the situation. While stating that OBS is “committed to addressing violations of the GPL in good faith,” the company wants to have a working relationship with TikTok as long as it gets it right by the company.
It is the right answer. That said, we are committed to addressing violations of the GPL in good faith, and in the case of TikTok/Bytedance, we would be happy to have a friendly working relationship with them as long as they abide by the license. https://t.co/w9jcT4pUQL
— Ben Torell (@dodgepong) December 16, 2021
Recently, OBS found itself in a somewhat similar situation. conflict with Streamlabs. OBS took to Twitter to express that the company never authorized Streamlabs to use the “OBS” on its behalf. This sparked a backlash from streamers and content creators who were unaware of the situation. As it boiled over, Streamlabs finally agreed to stop using OBS on its behalf.