To the list of issues confronting former President Donald Trump’s social media network, add a licensing blunder. The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), according to the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), violated a licensing agreement when it recently launched a test version of TRUTH Social.
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The website ran on a modified version of , a free and open-source platform for operating Twitter-like social media networks. Anyone can use Mastodon provided they comply with AGPLv3, the software license that governs its code.
One of the key provisions of AGPLv3 is that licensees must make their source code available to all users. That did not happen during the brief period when a test version of TRUTH Social was available earlier today.
The Software Freedom Conservancy, an organization that enforces open source software licenses, has now informed TMTG that it has 30 days to comply with AGPLv3 or face the consequences.
“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 said in a blog post.
It states that the company must “immediately” make the source code of TRUTH Social available to everyone who visited the site earlier in the day. If TMTG does not comply within 30 days, it will lose access to the software that was used to build its platform for good.
“That’s how AGPLv3’s cure provision works — no exceptions — even if you’re a real estate mogul, reality TV star, or a former President,” the SFC stated. If TMTG does not comply with the request, it may face legal action.
“We will be closely monitoring this issue and demanding that Trump’s Group provide the corresponding source to all users of the site,” SFC said.
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Finally, SFC revealed how TRUTH Social had been defaced earlier in the day. It claims to have discovered no evidence that anyone “illegally broke” into the website. Instead, it mentions that the incident was caused by an incorrect configuration.
“Once discovered, people simply registered accounts and used the site’s features legitimately,” the organization stated.