Today in APIs: Storify Changing Its Story, EFF’s Argument Against Copyrighting APIs, and 6 New APIs

Greg Bates, November 5th, 2012

StorifyStorify, the hybrid social platform/media curation tool, is looking to move beyond its pool of media clients. The Electronic Freedom Frontier makes the case for why APIs should not be copyrighted. Plus: the Facebook team shows you where to get face time with them, commerce APIs come under attack, and 6 new APIs.

Storify to Build on Linking the Media to Social Media

Storify, according to an interview with CEO Burt Herman in NetNewsCheck, outlined the evolution of its service from trying to help find the most interesting stories breaking on Twitter and Facebook (like the plane landing on the Hudson), to helping media draw on social media and create stories from it. Now embedded in the largest news organizations from The New York Times to the major TV networks, Storify seeks to dilute its reliance on APIs from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Herman is looking to assist users to migrate from siplly drawing on social media for reporting, to using social media to create reporting:

Another way that I’m impressed where people use it is not just looking out there and seeing what people are saying and putting the story together after the fact, but actually proactively saying, ‘We are going to be putting together a Storify story, use this hash tag, post whatever you want on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or whatever, and we’re going to take the best things and put them together in a story.’

It’s not just reporting on things. You are starting the meme and getting people to talk about it and then taking the best stuff and putting it in a story. By doing that, you’re really creating something that people want to come back and keep reading.

The next priority is straightforward: to make Storify simpler to use as a tool in collecting the best of the social networks.

Against Copyrighting APIs: The Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes the Case

Why shouldn’t I copyright an API that I wrote? In a blog post, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) underscores just how damaging that would be:

Here’s the problem: Treating APIs as copyrightable would have a profound negative impact on interoperability, and, therefore, innovation. APIs are ubiquitous and fundamental to all kinds of program development. It is safe to say that all software developers use APIs to make their software work with other software.

The EFF is putting out a call for help explaining this idea to the Federal Circuit

We need your help explaining this to the Federal Circuit. Are you a developer? An engineer? Do you benefit from widespread access to APIs? We want to hear from you. Let us know (at api@eff.org)

Specifically, they are looking for people with experience in reimplementing APIs to tell their stories.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

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Amazon Releases New AWS SDK for PHP
Find the Facebook Team in November
EFF: No Copyrights on APIs, Help Us Make The Case
Illumina Opens Up BaseSpace Developer Portal, API to Encourage App Development
API Attacks, an Evolving DDoS Attack to e-Business
Storify, Newsroom Sensation, Eyes Changes, Less API Dependence
The API Gold Standard
Less Common YQL Use Cases
A look into Clickatell’s SMS Small Business API

6 New APIs

Today we had 6 new APIs added to our API directory including a content delivery service, a semantic fingerprinting service, a guild wars 2 marketplace, an electronic signature service, a russian payment processing service and a collaboration and project management portal. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

Amazon CloudFront CDNAmazon CloudFront CDN API: Amazon CloudFront is a web service for content delivery including dynamic, static and streaming content using a global network of edge locations. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments.

The API lets users distribute content from their Amazon S3 bucket or Amazon EC2 instance or other origin server through the Amazon CloudFront network. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML.

CEPT RetinaCEPT Retina API: The CEPT-Retina produces semantic fingerprints of language to capture the inner semantics of natural language. The first version of the CEPT-Retina allows the use of word-level semantic fingerprints. The CEPT-Retina will continue to evolve to extend the functions available at the word level but also to embrace successively the next levels: Document fingerprints, user fingerprints and fingerprints of any entity that can be described with natural language. The CEPT-Retina can be accessed via an API that allows for easy integration into third party websites or applications. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

GW2SpidyGW2Spidy API: Guild Wars 2 is a MMORPG and GW2Spidy is an online trading post where players can purchase items. Players can use their game account to login and view all the items and listings. An API is available that makes the site data available for use in other websites and applications. Methods available include Type List, Discipline List, Rarity List, Item List, Item Data and more. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON, JSONP and CSV.

HelloSignHelloSign API: Integrate eSignatures with a lightweight, REST-based API. Request signatures, check on the status of documents, use reusable forms, manage teams, and more. Free to use and easy to get startedHelloSign is a web based electronic signature service. The service lets users upload documents and add their signature or other text to them. Many file types are supported including doc, docx, pdf, jpg, txt and more. Developers can integrate eSignatures with a lightweight, REST-based API. The API allows users to request signatures, check on the status of documents, use reusable forms, manage teams, and more. Responses are formatted in JSON.

MonetaMoneta API: The Russian-language service provides online payment processing for e-commerce and other exchanges. It frees a seller to handle all aspects of product display and merchandising then interface with the web service to complete payment transfer and conclude a transaction. In addition to balance transfers, the service provides status messages at each stage to move a buyer through the purchase process.

API methods support debits against a buyer's account and credits to the seller's account, once the buyer has completed selection and entered the payment process. Methods also support refunds from seller to buyer, collection and reporting on user statistics, filterable summaries of transactions processed, and detailed information about a particular transaction.

TeamPlatformTeamPlatform API: TeamPlatform is a cloud-based collaboration and management portal for 3D CAD projects. It combines tools for project management along with data management capabilities into a single platform. The platform supports over 60 3D formats to visualize, revise and securely manage. The API allows developers to integrate the platform's functionality into third party systems. Areas of functionality include profiles, workspaces, comments, tasks, property and more. The API uses REStful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.

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