picture of Rajah

Rajah Lehal

Licensing of Open APIs

October 14, 2015

Links from this article: Read the article here.

The article discusses the objectives and benefits of an open API license, which are similar to a software license. These include defining the extent to which the API can be used without constituting an infringement of the provider’s rights, and limiting the liability of API providers in case of any failure of the API.

This article also describes various clauses which should be included in an API license agreement, and gives examples of these clauses from current open API’s. These clauses include scope of rights; attribution; non-commercial use; information rights; financial terms; warranty; and limitation of liability. The article points out that “combining services and data from multiple sources raises several issues related to intellectual rights in mashups”, and notes that many of the service and data providers are “unclear about the relevance of these issues”. Service and data providers will be relying on the advice of counsel to draft API agreements that balance the interests of stakeholders, and adequately protected the API provider.

Read the article here.Take away:

  • The API agreement should clearly define the scope of the use of the API, and limit the liability of the API provider in case of any failure of the API.
Grant of License
Commercial Activities

Written by Rajah. Rajah Lehal is Founder and CEO of Clausehound.com. Rajah is a legal technologist and technology lawyer who is, together with the Clausehound team, capturing and sharing lawyer expertise, building deal negotiation libraries, teaching negotiation in classrooms, and automating negotiation with software.