The Digital Media Manifesto



L. Chiariglione


Definitions of standard-related terms



This document collects some definitions of standard-related terms. It is based on a personal contribution made to the public DMP reflector and comments received from Don Marti.


Recommendation A synonymous of "standard" used by some standards organisations (e.g. ITU and W3C)
RAND Acronym meaning "reasonable and non-discriminatory" that refers to the conditions at which a standard must be licensed
Specification A term that can be used interchangeably with "standard" with the exclusion of Formal Standard
Standard Documented agreement containing technical specifications or other precise criteria, to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for the purpose served by those making reference to the standard (adapted from ISO's definition)
- De facto A standard that has not undergone an open consensus process and has achieved market acceptance possibly against other competing solutions
- Formal A standard developed by an officially-recognised organisation at the national, regional or global level. Technologies utilised by the standard must be licenseable to anybody on RAND terms
- Open (access) A Published Standard whose development is open to willing participants and which utilises technology that is licenseable to anybody on RAND terms. The eventual maintenance of the standard is also open to willing participants
- Proprietary A standard that is typically a) established through a closed process, b) performed by a single company or consortium, and c) based on proprietary intellectual property
- Published A standard for which a text or equivalent description providing the necessary implementation details is available to the public.
- Royalty-free A standard whose use does not require the payment of royalties to IPR holders if any