Swedish Startup Space

Initiative release free API license to fit business needs and avoid common legal issues

Written by on December 12, 2013

Last week I got an interesting email from Andreas Krohn, the man behind API-katalogen and Nordic APIs.  Him and a couple of other people have come up with an idea to make it easier for companies who are developing API’s for external developers. As more companies are developing and exposing API’s for external developers, they simultaneously need to design both a technical infrastructure and accompanying license terms. While license terms are a necessity, they are often neglected until well into the project and there is currently little guidance at hand.

An open API license ready to use

The initiative has developed a general and open API license for private companies who wants to expose API’s. The license will be free to use and is released under the creative commons license. The license is bundled with a walkthrough that explains typical business and legal issues that a company can face when exposing an API.

Andreas Krohn says that the goals they set out was:

  • Is open and free for anyone to use. This guarantees maximal adoption, which is good for both the publishers and consumers of APIs in Sweden.
  • Is flexible enough to fit many different use cases (within certain limitations).
  • Respects both the publisher and the consumer of the API. This is very important since a license that just favours the publishing party will have a negative effect on the rate of adoption of the API itself.
  • Easy to understand for people without a law degree

The license is available in both Swedish and English and is hosted at GitHub. For more information, check out the video below where Andreas Krohn and Anna Mirsch present the initiative and take a look at the website.

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