The Stream Thief
- Nov 17, 2021
- 3 Comment(s)
Getting into streaming is a big leap. There’s dozens of different applications to help you optimize your stream to be exactly how you want it to be... but there’s a brand that is a big name that somehow combines it all into one. That brand is now getting exposed for the theft of ideas and mimicking of applications and devices. Streamlabs, we’re talking about you.
We’re going to tackle three cases of what we consider theft and what members of the online community are now seeing come to light.
OBS was the first victim I myself knew about. OBS stands for Open Broadcaster System and was one of the early innovators for stream applications. Their app allows you to layer images, media, and run effects for your stream and also allows the user to connect audio sources and record content via. This become the central hub for streamers to get all their hardware connected and start making content.
Streamlabs saw the benefit of this. Most well known for their alert systems and options to use their created overlays for beginner streamers, Streamlabs wanted in on being a host to streamers similar to OBS. They asked OBS to work with them and allow them to use their name for their new application. OBS politely declined the allowance of use, but Streamlabs couldn’t take no for an answer, and then came SLOBS (Streamlabs Open Broadcaster System). You can’t find a way to copy any better. Or can you?
They did, not only was the name a confusing one that made streamers think there was a partnership, aside from branding, the applications look NEAR IDENTICAL in every way. The organization was the same, and so were the setting windows. They actually took the time to steal every detail of, and add a few bonus features to shine brighter to streamers in the market.
Lightstream is another victim that suffered losing their ideas to the copycat monger that is Streamlabs. Lightstream provides an online service that allows you to make your layers and set yourself up for clouded streaming. This is built for a lot of creators that don’t have capture cards and console gamers. Since it’s built on a browser, no application is needed and it has a lot of cool features that allow you to bring on guests for collaborative events, using custom clickable links to invite them to your scene.
Streamlabs thought this was genius! Because it is pretty nifty, so why not as Lightstream said “copy my homework, just make sure it looks different” Let’s just say Streamlabs did exactly that. They went ahead, built a similar program and their website explaining the features was a direct copy of the Lightstream page. They swapped out a few words but kept most of it the same. When we express “the same” we mean even the testimonials were the same. Bad business practices from a “reputable” brand.
They later apologized for this error and said they used the Lightstream page as a mockup and portions that were copied weren’t mean to be published, but that seems like a lie, @JackSepticEye even called them a bit of a fibber on this one. Needless to say, Lightstream became a victim of theft just as OBS.
Elgato honestly surprised me when they surfaced with their joke mocking Streamlabs. Elgato is a brand I consider the Apple, Inc. of streaming, they make a handful of devices to make streaming simple, organized and clean. The rose to the surface in the reply of tweets in this massive thread of people exposing Streamlabs.
Elgato specifically brought up how Streamlabs stole one of their ideas that came from their famous StreamDeck. The Streamdeck is a multi-option button deck that allows you to switch scenes, open and close layers and even tweet out your live! It’s fully customizable and honestly, the features don’t stop until you stop being creative, it's almost like an “anything is possible” device.
For a more affordable option Elgato made a phone app that was just like the physical device that would only cost a monthly subscription. This app is called StreamDeckMobile and yes you guessed it, Streamlabs took this idea into their own hands and made something similar with a super unique name, Strealabs Deck. I was kidding if you didn’t pick up on that.Streamlabs Deck is basically the same thing as Elgato’s StreamDeck Mobile. A mobile app built to help you navigate your scenes, hit the live button and other features. I will say this app seems a tad more limited than StreamDeckMobile, but the concept is there. This last “steal” isn’t as severe as the other two listed. With how Elgato joked about it, you could feel it was still a touchy topic for them.
All in all, this could be a situation blown out of proportion but it’s an odd coincidence to see three brands call out one brand in particular. The stories align very similarly. We’ll leave it at that, but what are your thoughts? Are you changing stream hosts, or applications? Or did you never use them? Comment below!
Thanks for the comment Ethan!
This was so informative!! Up until I read the article I’d only known about one company Streamlabs screwed over.