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privacy & terms of service > API Terms of Service question

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark | 1 comments I was curious about the 1st item in the API Terms of Service agreement:
Not request any method more than once a second. Goodreads tracks all requests made by developers.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but others I've discussed this with came to the same conclusion...

If I develop say a mobile app, that's to be used by potentially hundreds of thousands of users, and that app uses my dev key, isn't there a very high likelihood that with enough users, there will be more than 1 request per second at any given time?

Or, say the app wants to add 6 books to a shelf, it's going to call the sdd_to_shelf api call 6 times in succession.

The other interpretation was that this only applies to methods which rely on being passed a dev key, which would be less restrictive, but could still easily see more than 1 request per second with enough user base.

It would seem that this one term would preclude most applications from being useful at all, outside of personal use only.

Can this be clarified?

message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) We're doing some averaging, any simple goodreads client is fine. Spiders are typically not acceptable.

If you'd doing over 60 requests a minute, this is an issue, but typically we'll warn you before banning.

message 3: by Kiwidude (new)

Kiwidude | 28 comments I remain a bit baffled as to how it is possible to stay within such restraints for anything but the most trivial of applications with a handful of users?

Our hope was to write an integration which would allow users to synchronise the contents of their book shelves with a client application. No spiders, no massive data warehousing, no pulling reviews, book metadata etc. Just manipulating the shelves for that user with their own Goodreads account.

Now lets say the user selects 15 books in the client application and wants to add them to their "read" or "to-read" shelf. I can find no methods for working in bulk with the API to assist? Adding a book to a shelf is done one book at a time. And rather than taking an ISBN it requires a Goodreads bookid which is also one ISBN at a time, meaning two API calls per book.

So that is 30 api calls for one user to add 15 books to a shelf. If just two users of the application around the world do this at the same time - we hit the T&C threshold?

Now we don't know exactly how many people will use this functionality in the application. It could be a handful, it could be hundreds, or in time it could be thousands (the application has a huge user base).

The integration should offer another reason for users to either join or increase their use of the Goodreads website, which offers features the application does not offer. So it should be a win-win for both. But I can't see how this can be done without a very high chance of breaching that threshold?

Any thoughts? Any chance of bulk methods on the API? Or should we just suck it and see, hoping for some leniency should thresholds sometimes be breached?

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Economy (michaeleconomy) There quite a bit of leniency. We try and give as much forwarning as possible before banning.

message 5: by Atul (new)

Atul | 2 comments Hi Michael,

Do I need a written consent from Goodread if I am using API for fetching description and ratings for my book rental website which rents out hard copy of books we keep in our inventory. I have noticed other online stores using goodreads API for the same purpose.
We are sure to take care of all the 'terms of use' points.

Thanks & Regards,

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