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The Recipe for Open Standards (and Why ISO Can�t Cook)

Sep 13, 2010, 14:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Weir)

"First some definitions. In this post let's define an "open standard" as one that is: 1) freely available, 2) developed in an open process and 3) freely implementable, e.g., is royalty free. I freely acknowledge that there are interests out there that attempt to soften these criteria, but that only demonstrates the competitive power presented by truly open standards. We see similar "dumbing down" pressures on other popular marks of distinction, such as the constant pressure by "big agriculture" to allow more permissive use of pesticides in organic/biologique food. It is almost a law of nature that any item of relative scarcity and value will be counterfeited. Dumbing down definitions is just one way to counterfeit an open standard.

"At the same time there is a clearly a spectrum of openness, from proprietary, trade-secret technology at one extreme, progressing through proprietary non-RAND specifications, proprietary RAND specifications, RAND standards to RF standards. But for sake of argument, let's draw the line for open standards at these three criteria: freely available, open process, and freely implementable."

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