Popular Twitch Software Changing Name Following Plagiarism Accusations

Popular Twitch Software Changing Name Following Plagiarism Accusations
Image: Streamlabs

Yesterday, the Twitter account for the livestreaming software Lightstream accused rival streaming software maker Streamlabs of stealing marketing copy from its website. After Lightstream tweeted about how Streamlabs’ website text was modelled on its own, other companies began to corroborate with their own negative experiences with Streamlabs. Among those were the makers of OBS, a widely used streaming application which accused Streamlabs of using the name “OBS” in a release of its own, Streamlabs OBS, without permission. Earlier today, Streamlabs announced that it would be removing the “OBS” from “Streamlabs OBS” (SLOBS).

Streamlabs OBS is a cloud-based livestreaming software built off of the open-source OBS code. While the base software is free, it also offers paid services. It has partnered with big names in the streaming space, including Twitch and the popular streamer Pokimane. According to OBS, an open-source streaming software project, Streamlabs reached out to ask if they could use the name OBS. OBS says that after asking Streamlabs not to do so, the company promptly filed a trademark for Streamlabs OBS. As a result, many people began to confuse Streamlabs OBS and the original OBS. Some in the gaming community even had no idea that the companies had no affiliation with each other.

Many streamers and members of the gaming community have called for users to switch over from Streamlabs to other streaming services like OBS. However, Several Streamlabs users have also pointed out that the Streamlabs software uses interface designs that make it harder (or more recently, seemingly impossible) for users to cancel their paid services.

Shortly before Streamlabs announced its intentions to change its name, the company was under a lot of public scrutiny from streaming community members such as Imane Anys (Pokimane), Hasan Piker, Brandon Stennis (iAmBrandon), and Dylan Zaner (8bitdylan). Even the ex-CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden weighed in to express dissatisfaction with Streamlabs’ business practices.

Streamlabs does not refute the public claims about the company. At the end of its name change tweet, they stated: “We take responsibility for our actions and will support the community.”