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API-ToS;DR is an API specific ToS;DR started in August 2012. The data is subject to important changes. This is your opportunity to help us fix the “biggest lie on the programmable web”: join us if you have information to contribute related to specific terms or if you have a comment!
Rated Services What does it mean?
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Making the fine print easy to understand
Each data point will be assigned a weight in the rating of the API in question as soon as there is a rough consensus in the mailing list thread. So the classification of each API simply depends on how many positive and negative data points we have posted about it on the mailing list.
Each services gets a series of badges, either + Good, - Mediocre, × Alert, or → Informative; depending on how fair they are compared to other services. One way to compare is to analyse by topics. When we collect all the points, each service gets assigned a class.
Class A are the best API terms of service: they treat you fairly, respect end-users' rights and does not restrict developers too much.
Class B The terms of service are fair towards developers but they could be improved.
Class C The terms of service are okay but some issues need your consideration.
Class D The terms of service are very uneven or there are some important issues that need your attention.
Class E The terms of service raise very serious concerns.
No Class Yet We haven't sufficiently reviewed the terms yet. Please Get involved!
Mehdi started a blog on APIs called API500 where he explains the need for an API rating agency, within an API company policy and Tos rating inside. A few weeks later, he contacted the API guru Kin Lane about it and they decided to work together on a system which could help developers and any interested party to manage better APIs in their code and business. Then, they discovered ToS;DR through Hacker News and realized that this was precisely what was needed. A crowdsourced rating for easy and fast understanding of API ToS and for the future, a bottom-up fair pressure on API providers. So following Hugo's advice, we forked their project and specialized it for APIs.
We would like to give credit to the amazing guys from ToS;DR: Hugo Roy (@hugoroyd), Michiel de Jong (@michielbdejong) and Jan-Christoph Borchardt (@jancborchardt) without whom this would really not have been possible. Thanks guys! Awesome job!