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Kin Lane
By Kin Lane Market Review, Services April 13, 2016

 

I always dig it when API stories spin out of control, and I end up down story holes. I’m sure certain people waiting for other work from me do not appreciate it, but these are where some of the best stories in my world come from.

As I was writing the story about Best Buy limiting access to their API when you have a free email account, which resulted in the story about Best Buy using Medium for their API platform blog presence, which ended up pushing me to read Medium’s terms of service.

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Anyways, to help manage the evolution of the terms of service, privacy policy, Medum uses Github to establish a historical record of all the changes to all legal documents that impact platform, and API operations. Seems like a pretty sensible, and default approach to the legal department for any platform.

Hosting your legal department on Github, making sure there is as much transparency, and logging across this area of operations will play a central role in establishing and maintaining trust with your partners and consumers.

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Maintaining the legal side of your platform operations on Github, taking advantage of the version control built in makes a lot of sense. Something that also opens the door for using Github Issue Management, and the other more social aspects of Github for assisting in the communication of legal changes, as well as facilitate ongoing conversations around changes in real time.

I can see eventually working this into some sort of rating system for API providers, a sort of open source regulatory consideration, that is totally opt in by API platforms — if you give a shit you’ll do it, if you don’t, you won’t.

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