What Exactly Is API Commons?

As I travel around talking to folks about APIs, I spend as much time as I can educating folks about API Commons, and I’m constantly reminded how little people, who have even heard, and read about API Commons, really understand what it is. With this in mind, I will be regularly publishing examples of what API Commons is, to help onboard everyone to mine and Steve's (@njyx) vision of API Commons.

API Commons is a machine readable pointer to the license of your API. As I talk with folks, and watch videos like this one at APICon in UK, I realize how many misconceptions there are about it. Many folks emphasize the Creative Commons license we’ve chosen, or the listing of APIs we’ve had added to our version of the commons, by publishing an API Commons manifest, which references a CC-BY or CC0 license.

If you feel your API should be covered under an open source license, or covered by your patent, or not covered by any sort of license, create an API Commons manifest that points to your API, references your license, and you’ve created your own commons. Now you can spider, and aggregate any API providers who have used the same license, into your own definition of what is the API Commons.

API Commons is not an API directory. API Commons is not a push for copyright in APIs. API Commons is a machine readable format for taking a stance on the licensing (or not) of your API definitions, and data models. Please join us today, by letting us know your stance on licensing of your API, we’ve love to hear your voice, and better understand your stance.