According to the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy, a test version of Donald Trump’s Twitter-like social network infringed on open-source software license terms.
Trump’s Truth Social website, which was launched by the newly formed Trump Media & Technology Group, failed to provide the source code to users, as required by the Affero General Public License (AGPL), a “copyleft license” published by the Free Software Foundation, according to the Software Freedom Conservancy, which enforces open-source software agreements.
Truth Social’s website ran on Mastodon, a free, open-source social networking platform controlled by the AGPL.
What they are saying
TMTG’s strategy hasn’t sat well with the SFC, an organization that enforces free and open-source software licenses.
“The license purposefully treats everyone equally (even people we don’t like or agree with), but they must operate under the same rules of the copyleft licenses that apply to everyone else,” SFC policy fellow Bradley Kuhn wrote in a blog post. “Today, we saw the Trump Media and Technology Group ignoring those important rules — which were designed for the social good.”
If Truth Social fails to make the source code available, the SFC could sue it for violating the terms of the license it used. Earlier this year, the group sued electronics maker Vizio for “repeated failures to fulfill even the basic requirements” of free software licensing. “We will be following this issue very closely and demanding that Trump’s Group give the corresponding source to all who use the site,” Kuhn writes.
What you should know
- Donald Trump, a former US president, and business magnate, previously expressed his intention to develop a new social media platform comparable to Facebook and Twitter. The initiative, dubbed “Truth Social,” aims to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” according to the former President.
- Earlier this year, Twitter alongside Facebook banned the Former US President after a mob of supporters stormed the US Capital building in a riot leaving many people dead.
- The platforms were sued by the former president, who claimed censorship and First Amendment infringement. He has alleged for a long time, without evidence, that the platforms discriminate against the Right, an accusation that the companies have frequently refuted.
- The social network will launch a limited beta version in November this year, with a larger rollout scheduled in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMGT), which made the announcement.
- To build a new business led by Trump, TMGT has agreed to merge with Digital World Acquisition Group, a Miami-based Nasdaq-listed corporation.