TikTok's PC streaming app accused of violating an open source license

The OBS team isn't thrilled.

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POLAND - 2021/09/23: In this photo illustration a TikTok logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Streamlabs isn't the only company drawing flak from the Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) project. According to Protocol, OBS business development manager Ben Torell claims to have "clear evidence" TikTok is violating the open source GNU General Public License (aka GPL) with its recently released Live Studio software. The Windows livestreaming app allegedly uses code from OBS Studio and other open efforts, but TikTok isn't sharing that code under GPL terms.

Live Studio is meant to offer the features and quality you typically get from livestreaming services like Twitch, such as game capturing and overlays. It's only available to a small number of users in a few Western markets, TikTok told TechCrunch, but that doesn't matter in a licensing dispute like this.

We've asked TikTok for comment. This won't necessarily lead to a lawsuit, however. Torell stressed the OBS project responds to GPL violations "in good faith" and would be happy to work with TikTok as long as it respected the license. With that said, TikTok hadn't responded to OBS' concerns as of this writing — the dispute isn't over yet.

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