Last week, TikTok quietly released a game-changing tool for gamers and live streamers in the form of a desktop-based streaming app called TikTok Live Studio. Turns out, TikTok’s app that will allow gamers and TikTokers to stream high-quality content from their PCs to their TikTok accounts appears to be based on OBS’s open-source software. Unfortunately, TikTok has already been accused of breaking OBS’s GPL, or General Public License, by not releasing its open source code for TikTok Live Studio.
OBS’s business development manager Ben Torell told Protocol that OBS has “clear evidence” that TikTok’s Live Studio allegedly violated licensing terms. OBS has reached out to TikTok and is waiting to hear back.
No more downloads — In the meantime, however, it seems that TikTok is aware of the issue and the claims against its promising new app. The company has already removed the link to download its Live Studio. Now, the official download link redirects to TikTok’s homepage, also known as the For You Page.
The TikTok Live Studio application still functions for those who have already downloaded it, but the app is still in a limited access stage. Only a few thousand are actually able to go live on TikTok using the software.
Open source struggles — Since its initial release in 2012, OBS has long been considered the “OG” of desktop streaming software. Because of its open-source code, OBS has faced numerous challenges. It’s had to grapple with live streaming brand StreamlabsOBS using its name and code for years. This has caused long-term confusion, even among top Twitch streamers like Jacksepticeye, who thought OBS and StreamlabsOBS were affiliated (they aren’t). Streamlabs has since dropped “OBS” from its name.
Now, OBS faces another challenge with TikTok, whom it may be able to pursue legal action against if the GPL allegations hold up in court. But OBS prefers to amicably resolve its issues with TikTok.
“We would be happy to have a friendly working relationship with them as long as they comply with the license,” Torell told Protocol.