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Presumably RMS isn't against all web APIs, but just SaaS APIs.

What's the difference between a web API that provides data and one that's an interface to remote software? Seems like a blurry line.

I don't think the line is blurry at all. It comes down to whether you have the source code + data for a service.

If so, the company hosting it is providing a convenience. You can fork it, modify it, extend it as you like.

If not, the company can dictate how and when the service is used.

If they were writing against APIs provided by an open source library built on Overtone + Clojure (in some JVM-less form), I would hazard a guess that RMS would not have disapproved.

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