APIs & Copyrights

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The EU has ruled that APIs are not copyrightable and the jury is literally still out in the USA. The implications of a decision could have far-reaching consequences for software and API-based businesses. Should APIs be covered by copyright law? Would developers and innovation be stifled by copyrightable APIs? Or would it afford protection over IP?
Join the Apigee team for a discussion of the pros and cons, and the potential consequences if APIs are held to be copyrightable.

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  • Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License


  • 1. APIs & CopyrightsModerated byBrian Pagano@brianpaganoWith commentary fromSam Ramji Ed Anuff Greg Brail@sramji @edanuff @gbrailAnant Jhingran Marsh Gardiner Brian Mulloy@jhingran @earth2marsh @landlessness
  • 2. groups.google.com/group/api-craft
  • 3. youtube.com/apigee
  • 4. slideshare.net/apigee
  • 5. Topics• Introductions• Disclaimers• Copyright Law Primer• Oracle vs. Google• Panel Discussion• Conclusion
  • 6. @brianpagano@sramji @edanuff @gbrail@jhingran @earth2marsh @landlessness
  • 7. Panelist AvengerBrian Pagano Nick FurySam Ramji ThorEd Anuff HawkeyeGreg Brail Captain AmericaAnant Jhingran HulkMarsh Gardiner Iron ManBrian Mulloy Wolverine (alternate)
  • 8. DISCLAIMER #1: We are technologists. We arenot lawyers.
  • 9. DISCLAIMER #2: The opinions of the panelist arenot the opinions of any organization or company.
  • 10. Copyright Law Primer
  • 11. Copyright != Trademark != Patent
  • 12. “ A computer program is made up of several different components, including the source and object code, the structure, sequence and/or organization of the program, the user interface, and the function, or purpose, of the program. Whether a particular component of a program is protected by a copyright depends on whether it qualifies as an expression of an idea, rather than the idea itself. -John Controls v. Phoenix Control Systems United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Oct. 3, 1989
  • 13. APIs have been copyrightable for more than 22 years.
  • 14. Oracle vs. Google
  • 15. Panel Discussion
  • 16. How will copyrighted APIs impact developeradoption?
  • 17. Some web API providers have explicitly copiedother web APIs.What’s up with that, Marsh?
  • 18. Some web APIs are simple wrappers on top ofdata, for example /countries/ca/population/2010.What’s up with that, Anant?
  • 19. What do API copyrights mean for web APImonetization?
  • 20. Will API copyrights destroy the app economy andthe web, Ed and Sam?
  • 21. What should API providers do about their APIs andcopyrights, Greg?
  • 22. Final thoughts?
  • 23. Questions from Audience
  • 24. THANK YOUQuestions and ideas to:groups.google.com/group/api-craft
  • 25. THANK YOUSubscribe to API webinars at:youtube.com/apigee
  • 26. THANK YOUSubscribe to API slides at:slideshare.net/apigee
  • 27. THANK YOUContact us at: Brian Pagano @brianpaganoSam Ramji Ed Anuff Greg Brail@sramji @edanuff @gbrailAnant Jhingran Marsh Gardiner Brian Mulloy@jhingran @earth2marsh @landlessness