German Digital Library releases API
Last month the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek – DDB) made a promising step forward toward further opening up their data by releasing its API (Application Programming Interface) to the public. This API provides access to all the metadata of the DDB released under a CC0 license, which is the predominant share. The release of this API opens up a wide range of possibilities for users to build applications, create combinations with other data or include the German digitised cultural heritage on other platforms. In the future, the DDB also plans to organize a programming competition for API applications as well as a series of workshops for developers.
When the beta version of the DDB was launched at the end of 2012, there was some discussion on copyright restrictions (see this earlier blog). A small part of the metadata provided to DDB includes elaborate descriptions of artworks and is licensed as CC-BY. The DDB chose to include this rich metadata and, as a compromise, not release their full set of metadata as CC0. With the release of this API it has now become easier for developers to reuse the freely available share of DDB’s cultural heritage data.