Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys slammed Streamlabs for allegedly copying work from a competitor and using the name of OBS Studio, a free and open-source program, against their wishes.
Streamlabs describes itself as “the best free live streaming software.” It provides tools and features that can help content creators do everything from broadcasting their streams to handling alerts, donations, overlays, and more.
It originally started as an online service. However, it later transitioned into a free and open-source variant called Streamlabs OBS (SLOBS). This change largely took after OBS Studio, a similar open-source program that offers many of the same features for free.
It now turns out that OBS Studio reportedly asked the team at Streamlabs not to use their exact name before the changes went live. Not only that, but the co-founder of Lightstream, another browser-based streaming studio also accused them of copying aspects of their website.
“Streamlabs should be ashamed,” said the CEO and Co-Founder of Lightstream. “Not satisfied enough to ride OBS’ hard work. Now to copy ours down to the layout and every word on our marketing site and our UX in this product.”
He shared a side-by-side screenshot comparing the two websites and implied the resemblance between them is uncanny.
OBS Studio responded and elaborated on his point. “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.
“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 Studio concluded that while Streamlabs “legally” did nothing wrong, they “repeatedly disregarded the spirit of open source and of giving back.” OBS Studio also vowed to keep providing “free, open software and tools for everybody.”
We’re often faced with confused users and even companies who do not understand the difference between the two apps.
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.
— OBS (@OBSProject) November 17, 2021
Pokimane, who is affiliated with Streamlabs and has an image of her featured on their website, caught wind of the situation. She threatened to sever ties with them if they don’t acknowledge and rectify the situation.
“Streamlabs better resolve this entire thread of issues or I’ll be asking them to take my face off the platform,” she said.
If they fail to comply, she vowed to “look to use another donation service.” Other streamers chimed in, too.
Streamlabs responded to the allegations from Lightstream. “We made a mistake,” they said. “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.”
They also released an official statement on the matter assuring everyone that they are “taking immediate action” to remove OBS from their name. “We take responsibility for our actions and will support the community.”