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I recently came across an extension version of the Whisper model from OpenAI on GitHub, (https://github.com/linto-ai/whisper-timestamped) and I'm interested in using it in my Python project. However, before proceeding, I have a couple of questions regarding the legality and usage requirements associated with this model.

Legal Concerns:
I want to ensure that I'm using this extension in compliance with OpenAI's terms and conditions. Could someone please clarify whether it's legal to make use of this specific extension version of Whisper and publish it on GitHub? I'm unsure about the licensing implications, and I want to be certain that I'm not violating any copyright or usage restrictions.

API-Key Requirement:
When using OpenAI's official models, an API key is usually required to access them through their API. However, I'm not entirely certain if the extension version of Whisper I found on GitHub operates in the same way. Can someone clarify if an API key is necessary to utilize this extension? Or is it a standalone version that doesn't require API access?

I understand the importance of complying with licensing and legal requirements, and I want to ensure I'm doing things right. If anyone has experience with this specific Whisper extension or insights on how to properly use it, I'd greatly appreciate your guidance.

Please note that I've already reviewed the repository's README file, but the licensing information wasn't clear to me. Additionally, since the Whisper model is from OpenAI, I'm not sure if the API key requirement applies to this extension as well.

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As far as I can see, the model is legally published and distributed: whisper-timestamped is published under the AGPL and is an extension to openai-whisper which is published under the MIT License. That's all fine because the MIT License is compatible with the AGPL, and the AGPL as an open source license lets you use it for any purpose, including publishing it on Github.

Can someone clarify if an API key is necessary to utilize this extension? Or is it a standalone version that doesn't require API access?

These are support questions you should address to the project itself. It's perfectly valid and legal to have open source code which communicates with a non-open source server.

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  • "It's ... legal to have open source code which communicates with a non-open source server." In general this is correct, but isn't it a potential problem for an AGPL program? If I can modify the AGPL program to say "results = CallMyClosedSourceAPI();" then it seems I'm not really fulfilling my obligation of making the source available to the users of the service, as required by the AGPL.
    – Brandin
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 13:23

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