StreamlabsOBS has issued a statement that moving forward, they will be known only as Streamlabs, dropping the OBS from their name. The statement reads:
“Streamlabs OBS is built on top of the OBS open-source platform; Streamlabs OBS is also open source, and our code is publicly available.”
— Streamlabs (@streamlabs) November 17, 2021
But what caused this change in the first place? Why is StreamlabsOBS suddenly now just Streamlabs? In this article, we explain the events that led to this change in branding, and to why StreamlabsOBS dropped the OBS in their name.
LIGHSTREAM CALLED OUT STREAMLABS OBS FOR PLAGIARISING THEIR WEBSITE LAYOUT
On November 17, Lightstream posted on Twitter two images, juxtaposing a screenshot of their website and of Streamlabs' website. The juxtaposition highlights the similarities between the two, in terms of the layout, design, and even the copywriting. Lightstream tweeted, calling out StreamlabsOBS for their plagiarism.
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
Streamlabs hastily issued an apology, saying: “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.”
Probably due to Streisand Effect happening because of Streamlabs' apology, the accusations only kept on pouring afterward. After Streamlabs' apology, other users piled up on Streamlabs' response, sharing their Streamlabs horror stories, like how fans who donate to their favorite creators are automatically subscribed to Streamlabs' premium service. Surprisingly, even Edward Snowden has a say on the issue.
ELGATO ACCUSES STREAMLABS OF PLAGIARIZING ELGATO STREAM DECK
Next up was Elgato, who responded with a meme on Lighstream's original call-out tweet. “Know that feel,” Elgato simply tweeted.
Know that feel. pic.twitter.com/lqwWxL4pY9
— Elgato (@elgato) November 16, 2021
The meme showed Streamlabs' Stream Deck feature on their smartphone app, implying that Streamlabs also plagiarized Elgato's Stream Deck.
FINALLY, OBS CALLS OUT STREAMLABS' BLATANT MISUSE OF THE OBS NAME
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
OBS then shared how Streamlabs reached out to us prior to their launch their willingness to lend the OBS name. Being an open-source software worked on by a community of volunteers, OBS refused to lend its name to Streamlabs, a paid service. Even when OBS refused, however, Streamlabs still went ahead using the name instead.
OBS shares that they've tried to settle the issue with Streamlabs in private, but accused Streamlabs of being uncooperative. Because of the naming issue, OBS shared that it has caused confusion on the live streaming community and even companies who want to partner with either groups. “We’re often faced with confused users and even companies who do not understand the difference between the two apps,” follows up OBS. “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 also shares that Streamlabs have actually obeyed the legal terms, which is probably why they cannot sue them. But OBS accused Streamlabs of repeatedly disregarding the spirit of open source and of giving back. OBS ended their thread by reassuring their users that they will continue to provide free, open software and tools for everybody.
It was due to these propping issues why Streamlabs removed the OBS in their name. What follows next could probably put Streamlabs in a courtroom at worst, or with an irreparably damaged reputation at best.