Truth Social and "stealing" from Mastodon?

The possibility that Truth Social is just Mastodon with extra steps have even seeped into the public consciousness via a few mainstream media articles, and I found that many implications have not been discussed, such as whether the screenshots we’ve seen are for real, or did someone just spoof it by installing a Mastodon instance for themselves? Even if it is real, was this an AGPL violation, by not disclosing the source code even if the Mastodon fork was only running for their own internal use? What if that was only for testing, and they abandoned using a Mastodon base, but forgot to shut down the server?

I made a video dissecting the possibilities and how these might jive with the stipulations in the AGLPv3: YouTube video

or Odysee video

If there is anyone else, who thought about it and maybe understands Free Software licenses better than me, please share your opinions, I’m very curious if I got things wrong or not.


Nice work!

I’ve been looking into this a bit as well and as far as I can tell the “Intellectual Property Rights” on the website is just your bog standard boiler plate kind of stuff. I don’t think it implies that they are stealing AGPL code since the actual social network is not even deployed. I think it really only applies to the website as HTML, javascript and logos/trademarks etc and NOT the thing that doesn’t even exist yet.

Also, if it were just Mastodon, isn’t the source code already available? Just put a link to the Mastodon github and call it a day.

I think this whole thing is a little bit overblown. Just wait and see, the platform can’t even be used and we’re all just speculating based on a work in progress.


The problem is, that even if it is just Mastodon under the hood, it’s still changed and re-branded. And those changes would probably not get open sourced (it’s not Trumps style).


Brodie did a pretty good dive on it.

I think the issue is the code was utilized during a test release of the site and the AGPL is special in that there’s a clause that includes software providing services remotely.

Technically the violation hasn’t occured yet? as I believe they have a month to provide the code.

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I absolutely think this is getting overblown. At this point, the doors aren’t even open on this, someone got it and took some snapshots and they are making a stink out of it. Let’s wait and see if they make any violations, if they do, by all means, full court press. If they are abiding by the terms, than so be it. I don’t understand why this is even news. That said, great breakdown on this.

Ultimately, I prefer speech to be uncensored, I am a free speech absolutist. Let the bad ideas be torn up in the public discourse and let the good ideas flourish. I also believe that you shouldn’t be mean to others, so there is that and the line has to be tread carefully. I always ask the question, before I send a message out, “Am I saying what I believe to be the truth in a loving way.” If I am not, than I am wrong, no matter how true it is. It’s a hard battle and I am sure I will chronically mess up.

Thanks for the video and I am now following you on Mastodon!


Thank you for your follow! I saw it on Mastodon and was wondering how did you find me? :smiley:


Interesting. Brodie took a bit different approach than me.

I however didn’t know that the AGPL lets you to pretend to provide the source code and never actually providing it…

I didn’t know this either but I do know that you can break the GPL and it will take years for any real action against the perpetrators to happen if the perps have lawyers and money – vis-a-vis Vizio.

I found you through the link in your video. It was very well researched and I appreciate your work.

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I think he meant that no one can tell if you sent them the real software because it’s on your private server (assuming the right stuff appears when they run it) so you can get away with breaking the AGPL. By how he delivered it it seemed like that’s a thing he’s seen more than once but you’re right the wording wasn’t clear so I can’t say.

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A perfect day would be helping you set up your wind generator while talking about that subject over a few beers. If only I didn’t live 3 to 5 thousand miles away.

That would be a perfect generator, I have plenty of beer in my fridge… but lately, I have not been able to drink any of it so it is reserved for guests. I get these awful headaches. Same issue with soda pop and anything sugary. I am only slightly concerned… That said, I have a vertical axis windmill on order, I also have a charge controller / inverter as well that does require some new batteries and understanding, on my part, on how to properly integrate it with the “shore power” as some like to call it. I’m pretty excited about this. :slight_smile:

Setting this all up and talking about the solutions for our social problems would be a great day. Not that I expect we will solve it but it would be quite enjoyable.

Following you as well. Just joined Mastodon, still not sure if it will be any different than just visiting this forum to be honest.