11436 SSO

APIs and Copyrights: Monopolizing Ideas or Affording Protection? (video & slides)

May 17, 2012

Thanks to all who participated in last week's Webcast, APIs and Copyrights: Monopolizing Ideas or Affording Protection?

The video, slides and a summary of the panel members' closing statements are below. Thanks to our moderator @brianpagano and the entire team for a lively and informative discussion. We'd love to continue the discussion on the api-craft forum.

APIs & Copyrights
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Panel Closing Statements
Here's the essence of the panel members' closing statements. Going 'round the table -

@landlessness When you provide an API , be explicit about the license terms you want to apply.

@jhingran Respect the ownership of whatever you're exposing with the API - for example, the data. What you are exposing is as important as the APIs.
@edenuff As API provider,  state your intentions clearly as part of your license. As a consumer of the API (a developer), pay attention to the license. If openness is important to you, choose the APIs you use based on openness.
@earth2marsh We tell people to copy patterns all the time when we talk about Web API Design. I don't think we will change that practice. For example, /me is a pattern I use all the time. I think Facebook invented it. I'm going to continue using it because it's very effective.
You need a certain amount of copying for it to be a violation… How much partial use matters? How far do we take this?

@gbrail Be aware of what you're using and what you've implemented.
Check the license. Know what licenses are in the software you build, and in the APIs you consume and produce.

@samramji We might not like the expansion of IP law, but we can only blame ourselves if we are harmed by ignorance.
The expansion of these laws will depend on community practice; on expert witnesses saying what they think. Talk to other developers, discuss, debate, blog etc.  Be in the conversation so we have some common sense to fall back on if needed.

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