Mashups Not In Control

John Musser
Mar. 02 2006, 06:56AM EST

Richard MacManus over at ZDNet takes a look at Mashups: who's really in control?. In particular he opens by emphasizing that:

In the mashup ecosystem, let's get one thing straight. The data owner is ultimately in control, because a mashup developer is reliant on data owners to keep the supply of data flowing.

Sometimes data services that were open to begin with, then have restrictions imposed on them. Or the data services may even be taken away completely, if the owner of the data decides they don't like what the mashup does to their bottom line.

Indeed, the power resides with the data and API providers. Sometimes this leads to calling the attorneys in. One of things I'll be putting together is a list of mashups that have run into legal trouble, either with the owner of data such as when craigslist booted Oodle, or with copyright or trademark violations as happened with Hasbro vs. Risk on a Google Map.

This is going to be a long running strategic and legal balancing act.

John Musser



An interesting new column of data to add for your mashup db would be "authorization" with U for unknown, a = approved and n = not approved. In most cases the answer would be unknown but in the cases where it's clear like Oodle or in the case of this house mashup that Mr. McManus pointed to, the answer is (a)pproved.


It's not a bad idea. As you note most of the time it would be U. Speaking of which, I was thinking it would be nice to have a way to indicate if or how a mashup makes money: ads, transactions, donations, etc.

[...] I came across a blog entry by John Musser over at ProgrammableWeb titled Mashups Not In Control. It caught my eye, being a “mashup developer” myself. Anyway, he cited Richard McManus’ recent entry on ZDNet, titled Mashups: who’s really in control? [...]