TikTok’s latest video-production tool is said to be violating open-source licenses: The company’s new Live Studio Windows app, which launched last week, is using code from the Open Broadcaster Software project’s popular OBS Studio app and other open-source projects without adhering to the respective open-source licensing terms, according to allegations that first surfaced on Twitter late last week.
Open Broadcaster Software business development manager Ben Torell confirmed that his team had found “clear evidence” for these violations when contacted by Protocol. Torell said the project had already reached out to TikTok, but hadn’t gotten a response yet.
A TikTok spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to Protocol's request for comment.
TikTok released its Live Studio app without much fanfare last week. The Windows-based app is supposed to help people produce high-quality livestreams, and allows broadcasters to incorporate video game streams, image and text overlays and more. The app is currently only available to a few thousand users in a couple of markets, the company told TechCrunch.
OBS Studio is a popular broadcast app that is used by many livestreamers. A number of companies, including Reddit, have also used OBS Studio code to build their own livestreaming software. Under the terms of the GPL, which OBS Studio is released under, those companies have to make any modified source code available publicly under the same license as well.
If a company doesn’t follow those rules, it can be taken to court. However, Torell said on Twitter that Open Broadcaster Software was looking to avoid a legal confrontation. “We have a commitment to dealing with GPL violations 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 comply with the license,” he said.