are publicly available specifications for enhancing compatibility
between various hardware
components. Open standards allow anybody with the technical know-how
and the necessary equipment to implement solutions
which work together with those of other vendors.
Examples of open standards
In 2002 and 2003 there was some controversy about using Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (RAND) licensing for the use of patented technology in web standards. Bruce Perens and others have argued that the use of patents restricts who can implement a standard to those able or willing to pay for the use of the patented technology. The requirement to pay some small amount per user, is often an insurmountable problem for free software or open source implementations which can be redistributed by anyone. Royalty free (RF) licensing is preferred by Open Source adepts. The GNU GPL license includes a section that enjoins any one who distributes a program released under the GPL from enforcing patents on subsequent users of the software or derivative works.
- EU Commissioner Erkki Liikanen: "Open standards are important to help create interoperable and affordable solutions for everybody. They also promote competition by setting up a technical playing field that is level to all market players. This means lower costs for enterprises and, ultimately, the consumer." (World Standards Day, 14 October, 2003)