Trump's botched social media platform is already off to a bad start

Trump's botched social media platform is already off to a bad start
Trump/Shutterstock

Former President Donald Trump just kicked off his social media platform and, already, it's off to a turbulent start, according to multiple reports.

On Friday, October 22, The Verge reported that Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) appears to be in violation of a license agreement. The violation was caused when the media group was accused of "snatching the code of the decentralized social network Mastodon and refusing to abide by its terms."

According to the Software Freedom Conservancy, —a nonprofit organization dedicated to enforcing the laws for free and open-source software licenses— the Truth social media platform has "30 days to stop violating a free and open-source software licensing agreement before its access is permanently terminated or the platform faces legal action."

While social media platforms do have the option to resuse Mastodon's code, that also comes with stipulations. Platforms must comply with the Affero General Public License (or AGPLv3) which includes a condition that requires "every user can receive the complete corresponding source for the website based on that code."

"That's how AGPLv3's cure provision works — no exceptions — even if you're a real estate mogul, reality television star, or even a former POTUS," the Software Freedom Conservancy emphasized.

Trump's platform violated that condition when it referred to its service model as "proprietary."

In a blog post, SFC policy fellow Bradley Kuhn further explained the purpose of the license.

"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," Kuhn said. "Today, we saw the Trump Media and Technology Group ignoring those important rules — which were designed for the social good."

He also reiterated the consequences Trump's media group could face.

“If they fail to do this within 30 days, their rights and permissions in the software are automatically and permanently terminated,” Kuhn said.

He also noted, "We will be following this issue very closely and demanding that Trump’s Group give the corresponding source to all who use the site."

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