An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it.
The terms "open" and "standard" have a wide range of meanings associated with their usage. The term "open" is usually restricted to royalty-free technologies while the term "standard" is sometimes restricted to technologies approved by formalized committees that are open to participation by all interested parties and operate on a consensus basis.
New Zealand official interoperability framework definition
The E-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) states defines open standard as royalty free according to the following text:
While a universally agreed definition of "open standards" is unlikely to be resolved in the near future, the e-GIF accepts that a definition of “open standards” needs to recognise a continuum that ranges from closed to open, and encompasses varying degrees of "openness". To guide readers in this respect, the e-GIF endorses "open standards" that exhibit the following properties:
- Be accessible to everyone free of charge: no discrimination between users, and no payment or other considerations should be required as a condition to use the standard.
- Remain accessible to everyone free of charge: owners should renounce their options, if any, to limit access to the standard at a later date.
- Be documented in all its details: all aspects of the standard should be transparent and documented, and both access to and use of the documentation should be free.
The e-GIF performs the same function in e-government as the Road Code does on the highways. Driving would be excessively costly, inefficient, and ineffective if road rules had to be agreed each time one vehicle encountered another.
If you have any suggestions for Open Standards add them below.