Open API and copyright

Channy, a well-known blogger/web developer in Korea has a great expectation on open APIs that open APIs will provide fun-to-work environment for web programmer and eventually increase the scale of the web industry. (here) On the other hand, there is a cautious approach by another web developer. (here) These two blog posts reflect what web developers in Korea might think about the open API trend.

Looking up the blogsphere, I found a post by a photographer (professional one) that shows photographers’ point of view on open API. It is just simple that more and more open API programs are developed and useed to plug into Flickr, photos on Flickr will be more susceptible to copyright infringement by users of Flickr or users of other sites that uses Flickr via open API.

I just got to know that Flickr could revoke Flickr API commercial keys and indeed it did to 123RFlickr. (see the news here) Whether 123RFlickr infringed upon Flickr users’ copyright on photographs needs further examination. It is clear whenever a site using open API wants to go commercial, it needs to thoroughly clear the legal hurdles. Same applies to the site that publishes open APIs.


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