UPDATE 18/11/21: Streamlabs will now remove OBS from its name, to avoid confusion with the separate platform OBS - as per tweets from yesterday shared below.
"We are taking immediate action to remove OBS from our name," reads a tweet.
"Streamlabs OBS is built on top of the OBS open-source platform; Streamlabs OBS is also open source, and our code is publicly available.
"We take responsibility for our actions and will support the community."
ORIGINAL STORY 17/11/21: Streamlabs yesterday announced the release of Streamlabs Studio, a new product that brings web-based Twitch streaming to Xbox and uses cloud capture to remove the need for capture cards.
Now, it has been accused of plagiarism from rival companies. Top streamers, including Pokimane, have also chimed in and threatened to move to other services.
Lightstream is a web-based streaming studio that similarly allows for console streaming without a capture card. The company's Twitter account shared an image of their website alongside that of Streamlabs Studio saying "Hey, can I copy your homework?".
🤡 Hey, can I copy your homework?— Lightstream (@Lightstream) November 16, 2021
▽ Yeah, just change it up a bit so it’s not obvious you copied.
🤡 Bet. pic.twitter.com/xODY5uDZeP
The image shows the two websites side by side with almost identical layouts, copy, and even quotes from users.
StuV2, the CEO of Lightstream, shared the tweet. "The team at @streamlabs should be ashamed. Not satisfied enough to ride @OBSProject's hard work. Now to copy ours down to the layout and every word on our marketing site and our UX in this product," he said.
The team at @streamlabs should be ashamed. Not satisfied enough to ride @OBSProject’s hard work. Now to copy ours down to the layout and every word on our marketing site and our UX in this product. https://t.co/Lot2KPh72y— STÜ (@StuV2) November 16, 2021
Streamlabs responded to this tweet apologising. "We made a mistake," reads the response. "Text on the landing page was placeholder text that went into production by error. This is our fault. We removed the text as soon as we found out. Our intended version is now live. Lightstream team is great and we've reached out directly to them to apologize."
We made a mistake. Text on the landing page was placeholder text that went into production by error. This is our fault. We removed the text as soon as we found out. Our intended version is now live. Lightstream team is great and we’ve reached out directly to them to apologize.— Streamlabs (@streamlabs) November 16, 2021
The Lightstream tweet was later shared by OBS, the provider of open source software for video recording and live streaming. While OBS came first, Streamlabs took the name for their main Streamlabs OBS product (SLOBS).
"Near the launch of SLOBS, @streamlabs reached out to us about using the OBS name. We kindly asked them not to. They did so anyway and followed up by filing a trademark," reads the OBS tweet.
"We've tried to sort this out in private and they have been uncooperative at every turn."
We’re often faced with confused users and even companies who do not understand the difference between the two apps.— OBS (@OBSProject) November 17, 2021
Support volunteers are sometimes met with angry users demanding refunds. We've had interactions with several companies who did not realize our apps were separate.
The thread continues, explaining how many users and companies confuse OBS and Streamlabs OBS and believe they are the same app because of the name.
"Legally they have obeyed the terms of the GPL but they have repeatedly disregarded the spirit of open source and of giving back," said OBS.
Elgato, provider of streamer hardware including the Stream Deck app, also chimed in with a tweet saying "know that feel". Streamlabs Studio allows users to control their stream from their phone, just like Elgato's Stream Deck.
In the wake of this, streamers have been threatening to move from Streamlabs to OBS.
Pokimane, one of the most popular creators on Twitch, is one such streamer. "Streamlabs better resolve this entire thread of issues or i'll be asking them to take my face off the platform + look to use another donation service," she wrote on Twitter.
streamlabs better resolve this entire thread of issues or i’ll be asking them to take my face off the platform + look to use another donation service. https://t.co/jfJoxIvc0y— imane 💜 (@imane) November 17, 2021
HasanAbi, another popular streamer, also voiced his opinion: "I will never use @streamlabs again if they don't immediately resolve this matter."
Eurogamer has contacted Streamlabs for comment.
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