Open standard

Open standards are standards that are easy to access for all market participants, weiterentwickelbar and usable. Each standard must be reasonably open to ever work as a standard can. In this respect, one could keep the attribute open to redundant. However, there is often a regulatory interest in openness define special requirements to be met by an eligible standard and, accordingly, to designate only such standards as open that meet these requirements.


The European interoperability framework contains a definition of open standards for e -Government and the public sector in the European Union:

  • The standard adopted by a non-profit organization and maintained and developed in an open manner ( consensus or majority -based ) that allows influence to all interested parties.
  • The standard is published. The specification is either free or available for a nominal fee, and must be copied and distributed free or for a fee.
  • If the standard or parts of intellectual property rights shall be subject ( patents ), they are irrevocably be free of charge.
  • The reuse of the standard is not restricted.

Similar definitions exist in the legislation of several European countries.

The following definition was supported by 17 organizations in the Geneva Declaration of 2008 and is used, among other things, of the FSFE and the Document Freedom Day:

" An Open Standard refers to a format or protocol that


Examples of the proper interplay of many different implementations of open standards can be found among others in the technology of the Internet. The Internet standards will usually suffice all openness requirements.

Internet standards

  • IRC (chat system )
  • XMPP ( instant messaging protocol)
  • OSGi ( OSGi Alliance)
  • SSL ( encryption protocol )
  • TCP / IP ( network protocol )

Document standards

  • Computer Graphics Metafile ( graphics format, especially not for vector graphics)
  • XML ( markup language )
  • HTML ( markup language )
  • MathML ( markup language for mathematical formulas, etc.)
  • Ogg ( container format for media files )
  • Office Open XML (file format for office documents) ( debatable )
  • Open Document Format ( ODF) (file format for office documents)
  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG ) ( graphic format for raster graphics )
  • Scalable Vector Graphics ( SVG) ( graphic format for vector graphics )

Other standards

  • Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine
  • (POSIX interface to the application programming)
  • SyncML ( standard for data synchronization)

Less open standards

The MP3 format is indeed documented open, an implementation may, however, be placed on the market only upon payment of consuming billable or very high fees. To what extent does this apply as an open standard, is disputed.

Telephony standards are due to the patent situation also regularly charging schemes. Even this can differ in their degree of openness. CDMA2000 about subject incisive restrictions than GSM.