TikTok’s Live Studio App Supposedly Uses OBS’ Code, Breaching Licensing Policy

TikTok’s new Live Studio app, a livestreaming platform built for Windows, supposedly borrows code from Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Turns out, this directly breaches OBS’ licensing policy even though OBS is open source.

As reported by Protocol, Twitter user @Naaackers published 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.”

Now, due to OBS being an open-source platform, things get a little tricky from TikTok’s perspective. As another user points out, Reddit uses OBS for its desktop streaming. However, it’s being utilized as a fork of OBS on GitHub, an open-source software community.

In a follow up, another user states that if TikTok does plan to use OBS’ code, it must make the source code publicly available, as stated by the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. OBS may be able to take legal action against TikTok if the company fails to see the proper measures are conducted.

OBS’ Ben Torell, who works as a business developer stepped in to acknowledge the situation. While stating that OBS has a “commitment to dealing with GPL violations in good faith,” the company wishes to have a working relationship with TikTok as long as they make things right by the company.

Recently, OBS found itself in a somewhat similar conflict with Streamlabs. OBS took to Twitter to express that the company never gave Streamlabs permission to use the “OBS” in its name. This sparked a reaction from streamers and content creators who were not aware of the situation. As it boiled over, Streamlabs ultimately agreed to stop using OBS in its name.