Mashups and APIs

Netgear brings Youtube to your living room.

I’ve been trying to understand the concept of application programming interface (API) and its applicability. So, it is entirely possible to create an entirely different service using an existing service and its APIs.

People say there are so called ‘open APIs’ (or public APIs). Impliedly, there are closed APIs. One of the most famous closed APIs are SONY’s PlayStation 2 APIs. One of the most famous open APIs are Microsoft’s Windows APIs.

As far as one uses open APIs, one is immune from any liability from using the primary program/service. Is this correct? This is a public question. If any of the reader knows the answer, please help out.

The next question is whether the secondary program/service is immune from liability for infringing copyright/patent/trademark of a third party licensed to the primary program/service. That is, suppose Microsoft Windows uses copyrights, patents, and trademarks of Adobe under license agreement. The license agreement specifically limits the use of the intellectual properties for the purpose of building and runnng Microsoft Windows. Then, suppose Apple makes a fancy program for law students who wants to figure out how many copyrights, patents, and trademarks are embedded in Microsoft Windows. Let’s say, the program is called IPRake. What the program does is to show all the copyrighted material, patented software codes, and trademarks that are incorporated in Microsoft Windows (lawfully that is). And the happy law students uses the results for conducting a law suit on their own behalf. Has Apple infringed upon Adobe’s IP rights or is it immune from it because it used open APIs?

Maybe the scenario is entirely impossible and just a daydreaming of mine. I’m simply not that good at computer programming. I’m just doing hypo games. If any one can help, it’d be appreciated.


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