One of the most popular streaming software makers is in hot water after being called out by top Twitch personalities and the open source project that served as a backbone for the company's success.
Streamlabs, formerly Streamlabs OBS, changed its name Wednesday after backlash spread on Twitter against the company over alleged sketchy business practices. The OBS Project, short for Open Broadcaster Software, provided the open source technical framework for Streamlabs. But in spite of Streamlabs' decision to include "OBS" in its name, the company and the open source project were apparently never on good terms.
According to a tweet from the OBS Project, the open source group previously asked Streamlabs not to include "OBS" in its name at launch. Streamlabs ignored the request, a choice that likely led many of the software's users to assume the two products were closely affiliated. To make matters even more confusing, Logitech actually owns Streamlabs, after buying the company for $89 million back in 2019.
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 turnhttps://t.co/r1eXr3VxcJ
— OBS (@OBSProject) November 17, 2021
On Tuesday, Streamlabs launched a new console Twitch streaming tool called Streamlabs Studio for Xbox. Lightstream, a rival livestreaming software maker, stirred up the current controversy on Twitter when its CEO pointed out the striking similarities between Streamlabs' webpage for the console streaming tool and its own, right down to the word-for-word identical user testimonials. Capture card maker Elgato also chimed in on Twitter, suggesting that the company had its own experience with Streamlabs copying a product.
🤡 Hey, can I copy your homework?
▽ Yeah, just change it up a bit so it’s not obvious you copied.
🤡 Bet. pic.twitter.com/xODY5uDZeP
— Lightstream (@Lightstream) November 16, 2021
A few huge Twitch names quickly jumped into the controversy, including political streamer Hasan Piker and Pokimane, one of the most followed streamers in the world. "Streamlabs better resolve this entire thread of issues or I’ll be asking them to take my face off the platform [and] look to use another donation service," Pokimane (Imane Anys) tweeted. Less than a day later, Streamlabs announced that it would "[take] immediate action to remove OBS from our name."