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An open standard is a standard that is publicly available and has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed (e.g. open process). There is no single definition and interpretations vary with usage. The terms "open" and "standard" have a wide range of meanings associated with their usage. There are a number of definitions of open standards which emphasize different aspects of openness, including of the resulting specification, the openness of the drafting process, and the ownership of rights in the standard. 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. The definitions of the term "open standard" used by academics, the European Union and some of its member governments or parliaments such as Denmark, France, and Spain preclude open standards requiring fees for use, as do the New Zealand, South African and the Venezuelan governments. On the standard organisation side, the W3C ensures that its specifications can be implemented on a Royalty-Free (RF) basis. (Excerpt from Wikipedia article: Open standard)
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