{"API Evangelist"}

Taking A Look At The API Licensing Stack

One of the byproducts of the Oracle vs Google API copyright case, was a realization that many API providers and consumer do not understand the layers of the API stack, let alone the potential licensing considerations for each layer of the API onion. I wouldn't just blame API providers, and consumers, I’m still getting a grasp on all of this, which is why I'm blogging about the subject.

Let’s take a quick crack at defining the layers to the potential API licensing onion:

In this scenario we are talking about a purely data API, if you are serving up some sort of programmatic resource, things might be different. My goal is to just try and understand the separation between the API layers, and apply some thoughts on how licenses can be applied to open, or possibly close access and constraint an APIs operation.

Much like other political building blocks of the API ecosystem, licensing in the aPI stack can be good, bad, or neutral. In the end, regardless of your stance I think it is important to have an open conversation about how our API stack is licensed, so that your consumers can better understand what they are in for.