On Wednesday night, after Trump revealed the TRUTH social app, Twitter users began to note that the network appeared to be based on an open-source social networking software called Mastodon, which allows people to modify the underlying code so long as they abide by its license.
But the Trump network appears to have taken the publicly available code for the website while violating the terms that make it free to use.
“I do intend to seek legal counsel on the situation though,” Rochko told TPM, while declining to discuss any specific legal action he may be contemplating.
“Compliance with our AGPLv3 license is very important to me as that is the sole basis upon which I and other developers are willing to give away years of work for free,” Rochko added.
The AGPL license mandates that software developed for free — like Mastodon — remain publicly available after its been modified. Under the license, TRUTH needs to share any modifications to Mastodon’s code.
The requirement allows developers to remain aware of how the software is being used so long as its run on public servers, continuing the chain by which different open-source developers continue to work on and further modify code that’s been created.
Trump Media & Technology Group, the company backing TRUTH, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Trump announced the creation of the social network on Wednesday night, heralding it as a means to “stand up to Big Tech” firms. The former president was banned from major social networking platforms after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
“We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American president has been silenced,” Trump said in a statement announcing the launch. “This is unacceptable.”