TikTok’s upcoming live streaming app for Windows, Live Studio, is reportedly an illegal fork of OBS. While this wouldn’t usually be a problem considering OBS is open-source, TikTok failed to adhere to OBS’ licensing requirements.
The situation came to light when a programmer posted a screenshot of what appears to be the source code for Live Studio, saying it’s an illegal fork of OBS and claiming that TikTok took OBS and switched out the interface for their own.
Another thing to keep in mind is that since this new streaming software is built on OBS, TikTok needs to make it open-source according to the GNU General Public License Version 2. Failure to do so can lead to OBS taking potential legal action against the company.
TikTok rowing upstream?
While OBS officially hasn’t put a statement out on the situation yet, OBS’ business developer, Ben Torell, replied to the tweet clarifying that while TikTok violates the license, OBS is willing to have a “friendly working relationship with them as long as they comply with the license.”
TikTok’s initial tests for Live Studio started just a few days back, with the company testing the waters with a few select users. At the moment, their software appears to be a pretty basic streaming program allowing users to go live from several sources.
This isn’t the first time OBS has been involved in controversy lately, either. Last month, OBS and Streamlabs went head-to-head in a separate incident that also happened to have unfolded on Twitter. The matter revolved around Streamlabs using the OBS name, without any permissions from OBS whatsoever and even alleging that Streamlabs adopting their name has proven problematic for them.
Initially, OBS was approached by Streamlabs for permission to use the ‘OBS’ abbreviation in their name. When OBS refused, Streamlabs went ahead and did it anyway and even followed up by filing a trademark. According to OBS (the real ones), they’ve been facing confused users and companies ever since who have failed to differentiate between the two programs.
Streamlabs soon ended up dropping the OBS name following outrage from streamers saying they’ll stop using and promoting Streamlabs if the situation continues.