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Digital communications is both pervasive and vital across society. This creates a growing public interest in the technical standards that proscribe public communications. The public is demanding, "open standards. " The rallying cry, "open standards," means different things to different groups. This paper reviews the different needs of specific groups of society and develops ten different requirements of Open standards. To implement these requirements, actions by standardization organizations, international bodies (e.g., WIPO, WTO) and national patent office rules are proposed. Interestingly, technical changes, in the form of new standards, rather than legal or policy changes, appear to be the most important mechanism to meet the requirements of open standards.
Date of Conference: 12-13 May 2008