Donald Trump’s new Twitter-like social network appears to be an unacknowledged copy of someone else’s work, and the original creator is considering legal action.
Eugene Rochko, creator of Mastodon . said: independent That he had asked his lawyer to assess whether Mr. Trump’s new Truth Social Service infringed Mastodon’s copyrights.
Although Mastodon is open source and anyone can copy it for free, licensing its software requires imitators to make their source code available and give credit to the original.
Screenshots taken from a leaked early copy of Truth Social showed that it still contained bits of HTML code from Mastodon, and Mr. Rochko said Truth was using Mastodon’s default error message, indicating that it’s almost certain.
“Okay, that sounds familiar,” the official Mastodon account tweeted on Wednesday evening.
Mr. Roshko said: “We pride ourselves on providing software that allows anyone to operate their own social media platform independently of Big Tech.
“But the condition that we call our work primarily free is that just as we give to platform operators, so do platform operators give back to us by providing their improvements for us and for all people to see.
“It doesn’t just benefit us as developers – it benefits the people who use these platforms, because it gives them insight into the functionality of the platforms that manage their data and gives them the ability to step away and start their own systems.
“As you can see, compliance is very important to us. I have notified my legal advisor to review the specific situation. At the moment I cannot comment further.”
The Truth Social has been asked for comment.
Trump’s team announced their new project with great fanfare on Wednesday, calling it a “future media force” with an “unawakened” online streaming service that will rival Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.
However, within hours, hackers discovered a live rhythm version, and social media users were able to hijack valuable usernames such as donaldtrump, donaldjtrump and mikepence.
Mastodon is a free program that can be used to create and run new social networks, which is designed to escape from the central base of Big Tech services like Facebook and Twitter.
In 2017, Rochko argued that smaller social networks created by groups of like-minded people would be “less likely to harbor toxic behavior” than blanket tech platforms designed to house everyone.