Swedish API Licensing Launch Aimed at Speeding API Time-to-Market

Mark Boyd
Nov. 27 2013, 09:00AM EST

At NordicAPIs yesterday, Andreas Krohn (Dopter SE) and Anna Mirsch (Mannheimer Swartling) launched the Swedish API Licensing site on behalf of their project partners Samtrafiken and Viktoria Swedish ICT. The project - funded by Vinnova, the Swedish government agency for innovation - aims to remove legal barriers for Swedish businesses and speed up time-to-market for their API products and services. It is hoped that the resource will also give greater clarity to developers looking at integrating available APIs. ProgrammableWeb spoke with Andreas Krohn after the launch.

"The main hope is that it will be easier in Sweden to publish APIs. The license is for the API provider, but we have also taken the developer's needs into consideration", Krohn told ProgrammableWeb.

At the launch, Anna Mirsch from Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling walked a predominantly business audience through the interactive online resource. A template API licensing contract is provided online with standard boiler plate provisions for API providers to choose from in order to quickly create an API licensing agreement suited to their particular business model.

"When we have a text that needs to be usable for everyone, at first we started out thinking we have to write one text, but then we realized that the text will become useless unless we have a few choices for different instances, for example, whether data can be commercialized or not," Mirsch said.

"This is why we structured the license with different texts. At first, the website may look a little confusing because we offer several alternative texts. The reason for this is to make it as customizable as possible. Depending on how you want to structure it for your API, you choose one and delete the other."

The Swedish API Licensing site follows on the heels of other international initiatives - most notably the API Commons - that are aimed at reducing duplicative efforts amongst businesses and other API providers who want to enter the market quickly.

And while the Swedish API Licensing site is suited to the Swedish legal context, Krohn hopes that the bilingual contracts - which are available in English as well as Swedish - can also be used as template texts in other international jurisdictions where contract law has a similar context. "With the licensing being available in English, we wanted to publish the reasoning behind each provision. This might not be useful somewhere like the US where contracts tend to be much longer, but they could be useful in legal environments all around the world - even as far from Sweden as Australia - that are similar."

Mark Boyd is a ProgrammableWeb writer covering breaking news, API business strategies and models, open data, and smart cities. I can be contacted via email, on Twitter, or on Google+.

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