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.
- 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.
– – –
This article is provided for informational purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the reader. It is not legal advice and should not be regarded as such. Any reliance on the information is solely at the reader’s own risk. Clausehound.com is a legal tool geared towards entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and small businesses alike to help draft legal documents to make businesses more productive. Clausehound offers a $10 per month DIY Legal Library which hosts tens of thousands of legal clauses, contracts, articles, lawyer commentaries and instructional videos. Find Clausehound.com where you see this logo.