11/17/21: Streamlab released a statement, apologizing for their decision to infringe on OBS's name, and confirming that they are removing OBS from the name.
Original Article: The OBS Project, an open-source project that produces live stream software and distributes it for free, released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday evening, in which they accused Streamlabs, which is owned by Logitech, of copying their name and stealing their trademark by naming their new software "StreamLab OBS." Additionally, another company called Lightstream is accusing SLOBS of stealing their UX and marketing materials as well.
StreamLabs OBS is a new project from Streamlabs that allows streamers to use stream overlays and other features typically only possible on a desktop via a console, phone, or tablet. However, with accusations of plagiarism knocking on their door, they are under some serious fire from the get go.
"Near the launch of SLOBS, @streamlabs reached out to us about using the OBS name," OBS said in their Tweet. "We kindly asked them not to. They did so anyway and followed up by filing a trademark. We tried to sort this out in private and they have been uncooperative at every turn."
According to OBS, Logitech's decision to use the term OBS in their software name confuses users and companies who don't know the difference between the applications. They even said that support volunteers for their project have been accosted by angry customers demanding refund for Streamlabs OBS, after not realizing the companies are separate.
Their claims that it confused some users were backed up by comments from the community, with Olivee May saying she assumed SLOBS and OBS were collaborating the whole time.
"Legally they have obeyed the terms of the [General Public License] but they have repeatedly disregarded the spirit of open source and of giving back," OBS continued on Twitter. "Despite these actions by Streamlabs, the OBS Project will continue to provide free, open software and tools for everybody. We will continue to support our users, the community, and our amazing developers for their hard work."
OBS was prompted to speak out after the folks over at Lightstream accused Streamlabs of stealing their UX layout and marketing materials. Lightstream and their CEO both linked to a comparison of the two companies marketing pages, showing a very similar layout, and saying in the Tweet "Hey, can I copy your homework? Yeah, just change it up a bit so it's not obvious you copied." This was essentially an accusation of plagiarism against Streamlabs.
Streamlabs responded to the accusation publicly, 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."
This answer was not satisfactory to many who read it, with a lot of users expressing their frustration that Logitech appears to have taken open-source software, ripped off the name of OBS, ripped off the layout and marketing materials of Lightstream, and then put their product behind a paywall.
As a result of the accusations, multiple major streamers are now publicly considering leaving Stream Labs service, including Pokimane and Hasanabi.
Streamlabs OBS has not yet responded to the accusations leveled at them by OBS specifically, we will update this story as it continues to develop.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.