Legal usage of an API inside a GNOME app

Hello, as a maintainer of Calculator I am trying to validate with someone in GNOME whether a certain API is allowed to be used inside Calculator for currency conversions, and I am not sure who to contact.

Could you be more specific?

If the API in question is a part of a library you intend on linking to, you may be able to get a serviceable answer by finding another project with a matching licensing situation (vetted by lawyers).

Otherwise you may have to ask a lawyer familiar with opensource licenses, or appeal to some legally-grounded group that offers such advice pro-bono.

The API itself is a REST API ( available on the site of Bank of Canada, the implementation to fetch the data (in our case TWD conversion rates) will be in gnome calculator itself, similarly to the already existing two other web datasources.
Actually the person doing the merge request already asked for approval, and posted the response on the MR (Add TWD into currency list (!148) · Merge requests · GNOME / gnome-calculator · GitLab) allowing the use of the site given that proper caching is implemented to avoid spamming the site with requests and keeping in mind that the data is updated once a day, which should not be a problem for us.

Calculator refreshes exchange rates weekly or daily so that satisfies their request to use a caching mechanism.

INAL but does this part of their terms require something more?

1.1. Attribution

You must attribute the Bank of Canada as the source of the content, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests that the Bank endorses you or your use of the content.

I don’t see that Calculator attributes its data sources. Not in the user interface when doing a currency conversion and not in About Calculator > Legal. Again, INAL but should maybe attribution be given there? For example GNOME Weather attributes its weather data source in the bottom of the window, and GNOME Maps attributes its data sources in About > Legal:

The IMF looks to me to have a similar clause in its terms:



  • When Data is distributed or reproduced, it must appear accurately and attributed to the IMF as the source, e.g. “Source: International Monetary Fund.” This source attribution requirement is attached to any use of IMF Data, whether obtained directly from the IMF or from a User.

So does the ECB looks to me to have a similar clause in its terms:



  1. When such information is distributed or reproduced, it must appear accurately and the ECB must be cited as the source.

I think the use of the API is fine but the ECB, IMF and BC should be attributed as exchange rate data sources in About Calculator > Legal or in the user interface when doing a currency conversion.

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Maybe like this:


(Links to, Euro foreign exchange reference rates and Exchange rates - Bank of Canada)

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Thanks for the idea @jakedane I guess an attibution link will never hurt, so I added for the existing ones and will also request one to be added for the new Bank of Canada provider, and probably we should be fine.

The about window of calculator now looks like what you mocked up:

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