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This is the P2P category for Open Standards, which here is simply called "Standards" since open ones are the ones of interest to us.


The aims of these pages is to define the technical requirements for human emancipation, and define the steps necessary to create Augmented Social Networks. [1]

This page will monitor the evolution, and setbacks, on the road to creating open standards for the world's communication infrastructure.

Concepts of the P2P Encyclopedia are still in the process of being ported (first 7 columns done so far, until the letter 0).

We are looking for a maintainer and volunteers to update and ameliorate this page.

On the overall perspective of the P2P Foundation: What Digital Commoners Need To Do, a meditation on the strategic phases in the construction of a peer to peer world

Watch this video for context: Eben Moglen on the Four Forces Arrayed Against Internet Freedom and How We Can Fight Them: Must watch video with the first part highlighting the dangers to internet rights in 2011, and the second part how we can overcome them. [2]


  1. Thomas Lord on Why We Need Free Network Services, and not just Copyleft.
  2. Neal Gorenflo nails down the Twenty Rules for Civil Networks that we need for a real p2p infrastructure

The P2P Foundation supports:

  1. The work of the Autonomous group for Free Network Services. Check this list of Open Software Service Definition (OSSD) compliant Free Network Services here at OKFN.
  2. the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure and its work on open standards
  3. the Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web and the policy platform of Sincere Choice.
  4. the development of Open Source Mesh Networking, see Open Source Mesh

Core texts outlining principles of a truly autonomous internet:

Introductory Articles

Contextual Citation

"If we are to preserve the democratic and creative promise of the Internet, we must continuously diagnose control points as they emerge and devise mechanisms of recreating diversity of constraint and degrees of freedom in the network to work around these forms of reconcentrated power."

- Yochai Benkler [4]


For starters, you may want to read the following:

  1. Peter Bradwell: Towards a Declaration for Digital Rights
  2. Kevin Marks: The Three Main Social Aspects of the Web
  3. Mike Linksvayer: Free Culture in Relation to Software Freedom

What you really need to read

  1. Dorothea Salo's Guide to the Different Flavors of Openness, a consise guide to the precise meaning of: Open Source ; Open Standards ; Open Access ; Open Educational Resources ; Open Research Data ; Open Government Data ; Open Notebook Science. [5]
  2. An Alternative_Internet_Infrastructure to protect free E-Speech: discusses Private Condo Fiber ; Public Condo Fiber ; Net Neutral ISP's ; Wireless Meshworks.
  3. Doc Searls: The Internet as Infrastructure. See Graphic [6]
  4. We need Sincere Choices in order to create open, anti-monopolistic marketplaces: this requires 1) Open Standards; 2) Choice Through Interoperability; 3) Competition by Merit; 4) Research Availability; 5) Range of Copyright Policies; 6) Freedom to Set Policy
  5. The Meaning of Open Standards; Why Open Standards are Important?; and so is Interoperability
  6. P2P Standardization processes differ from the traditional media standard process
  7. How Open Standards are related to Free Software, which makes a distinction between encumbered and unencumbered open standards.
  8. Open Standards and Open Source. Bob Sutor.
  9. The evolution of the Giant Social Graph as the next stage of the Web and Web 3.0, bringing together, 1) The Semantic Web, 2) The Social Graph; 3) Social Network Sites; 4) Portable_Social_Networks
  10. Bruce Schneier on Why We Need to Own our Own Data
  11. What about the openness of web services?; Tim O'Reilly on Open Source and Cloud Computing: open data is fundamentally challenged by the idea of utility computing in the cloud.
  12. Digital Book Reading Rights Checklist: this checklist produced by the Electronic Frontier Foundations represents the key questions that readers should ask of each new digital book product or service to evaluate whether it adequately protects their interests. [7]


  1. Why Sharing may require some loss of control. Tim Berners-Lee.
  2. Be aware of the Architectures of Control in the Digital Environment, such as DRM and Trusted Computing.

On Openness in general

  1. Introduction to Openness
  2. Transparency and Accessibility as aspects of Openness
  3. What is Openness?: inquiry by the Open ICT for Development project
  4. Luis Villa: Evaluating open definitions. Villa stresses 3 essential conditions, the latter rarely attained until now: data access, source access, hardware access.
  5. Henri Bergius stresses conditions in addition to using open licences, i.e. Requirements for Open Projects
  6. Graphic overview of the spread of openness and open standards

Openness and business

  1. You have to understand the The Contradiction between Openness and Profits !!
  2. Umair Haque on the Economic Inevitability of Openness

Open Standards in specialized areas

  1. Freedom Conditions for Cloud Computing ; by Georg Greve
  2. The State of Free Software in Mobile Devices, Bradley M. Kuhn. Open Source Business Resource, March 2010: Mobile. [8]:Excellent overview, with recommendation to use the HTC Dream of Android/Linux.
  3. How the Mobile Industry uses Open Source to Further Commercial Agendas. Andreas Constantinou. "Enclosing through proprietary governance."
  4. The importance of open standards and free software for scientific computing,IOSN White Paper

Technical Requirements

  1. Marc Canter on the Structural Conditions for Building an Open Mesh
  2. Requirements for an Open Internet, for Augmented Social Networks and an Open Social Graph
  3. Adam Hyde on the need for Free Manuals for Free Software
  4. Characteristics of the Ideal Open Social Networking Application. By Hellekin O. Wolf, orig. title: A User Perspective of GNU Social


  1. A proposed "Open Privacy" Privacy Manifesto, by Alec Saunders
  2. The Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users from the Electronic Frontier Foundation
  3. People’s Principles To End Mass Surveillance

See also:

  1. We now need new ethical guidelines for networked applications, where free software licenses no longer protect our freedom, as the data and software are no longer located on our local computers.
  2. Sam Rose proposes a Business Stewardship of the Commons Council, to certify the Openness of particular services
  3. We need Open Platforms for TV: What's the difference between Internet TV and IP-TV?
  4. Proposed Ethical Guidelines for Ubiquitous Computing
  5. A proposed Bill of Rights for Users of the Social Web
  6. High Priority Free Software Projects: "The FSF high-priority projects list serves to foster the development of projects that are important for increasing the adoption and use of free software and free software operating systems."

Status Reports

  1. European Governments are embracing open source and open standards]: 2007 overview
  2. How open is your mobile phone?: Android compared to OpenMoko


  1. RDF vs Microformats. By Evan Prodromou.
  2. Anti DRM-clauses in Open Licenses might not be a good idea. By Evan Prodromou.
  3. The dangers of Deep Packet Inspection for Network Neutrality [9]
  4. Criticisms of the Openness of Google's Android platform at
  5. Ethan Zuckerman: We can’t circumvent our way around internet censorship


  1. An Economic Basis for Open Standards (Ghosh)
  2. Open Standards Requirements (Krechmer)
  3. Standards as Governance (Cargill)


  1. An Open Standards Primer; [10], written by Nah Soo Hoe ; another recommended Standards Primer: Understanding Technology Standardization Efforts. By Stephe Walli
  2. A definition by Wikipedia
  3. Seeking Open Infrastructure is an essay by Joel West distinguishing Open Standards, Open Source, and Open Innovation
  4. Open Standards blogs are monitored by Technorati [11]
  5. Standard Mark-up Languages should be used instead of XML.

Key Resources

  1. The Libre Labyrinth of Greg London, guides you through the maze of free and non-free licenses


  1. Rob Myers keeps a directory of Free Software Applications; FLOSS favorites for daily usage
  2. Digital Curation Tools
  3. The Web Standards Curriculum: focuses on HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Key Blogs

  1. The excellent Standards blog is at
  2. Bob Sutor's Open Blog
  3. Peter Saint-Andre's blog monitors open Identity and Reputation trends, as well as developments related to the Public Domain
  4. Open Spectrum News: newsfeed only

Key Books

Key Conferences

  1. The Datasharing Summit is a key conference on interoperability of social networks

Key Directories

  1. A list of Open Software Service Definition (OSSD) compliant Free Network Services, compiled by the Open Knowledge Foundation at here]
  2. A list of AGPL licensed web services here:

Key Podcasts/Webcasts

  1. Bob Sutor on Open Source and Open Standards at IBM ; Bob Sutor on Open Standards vs Open Source
  2. Bradley Kuhn on Free Network Services
  3. David Glazer on OpenSocial
  4. David Winer on Portable Social Networks
  5. Eben Moglen on Document Licenses and GPL3
  6. Eben Moglen on Privacy and Voluntary Data Collectives
  7. Linus Torvalds on the Adoption of the Linux Operating System
  8. Marc Canter on Open Standards and Structured Blogging
  9. Marc Smith on the Social Graph and Social Accounting Metadata
  10. Mark Shuttleworth on the Roots of Ubuntu
  11. Michael Zimmer on Information Privacy
  12. Peter Saint-Andre on Presence


  1. Joseph Smarr on the New Open Social Infrastructure
  2. Michael Lauer on Open Moko and the Neophone
  3. Paul Miller on Sustainable Models for Open Data
  4. Richard Stallman on GNU
  5. Robert Scoble on Data Portability
  6. Sapna Kumar on GPLv3
  7. Tantek Çelik on Going Beyond Proprietary Content
  8. Tim O'Reilly on Who 2.0

Key Rights Statements and Manifestos

Key Tags

  1. Keep up with developments using our Delicious tag for Open Standards

Short Citations

Human knowledge is stored in the distributed network of individual human minds, and a repository of human knowledge needs to be stored in a distributed fashion as well

- Paul B. Hartzog on the need for a fully distributed Knowledge Commons

Long Citations

On the need for an alternative internet

"The internet’s failings as a truly decentralized network, however, merely point the way toward what a decentralized network might actually look like. Instead of being administrated by central servers, it would operate through computers that pinged one another, instead of corporate-owned server farms, and deliver web pages from anywhere, even our own computers. The FCC and other governing bodies may attempt to defang the threat of the original internet by ending net neutrality. But if they did, such a new network — a second, “people’s internet” — would almost certainly rise in its place."

- Douglas Rushkoff [13]

On the Advantages of Open Platforms

In an article critical of the closure of the Apple iPhone, the following entry summarizes the arguments for open platforms.

  1. "An open platform allows developers to implement functionality the platform provider hasn't gotten around to yet.
  2. An open platform allows developers to reimplement and replace functionality the platform provider has gotten around to, but has failed to do well.
  3. An open platform allows developers to meet needs that scare the platform provider, and allows consumers to have those needs met where otherwise the platform provider would block a capability.
  4. An open platform allows its users to get far more done, and latches them to that platform far more tightly as a result."

- (

Ethical Guidelines for Networked Data

An update to the freedoms required by free software licenses, as formulated by the Nailclipper blog:

To cope with the networking of data on participatory platforms, the next wave of ethical software must address the following issues:

  • Individual ownership of data - Who owns personal information?
  • Individual’s privacy - How is information shared? How anonymous is broad analysis?
  • Redistribution of reprocessed data - Can I reuse the data in a new application?
  • Cross compatibility between related networks - How easily can I move between competing services?
  • Data Removal - How much information is retained after unsubscribing from the service?
  • End of Service - What is the strategy for the stored data if the service fails?


Open Platform Literacy requirements

What we need to know to judge the difference between open and closed (proprietary) platforms.

By Ulises Mejias:

"The ability to articulate the difference between open (FLOSS) and proprietary social media platforms (including how to tell when the former mutates into the latter, and what to do about it).

  • The ability to determine when it's appropriate to use open (FLOSS) or proprietary social media platforms to promote social change with maximum effect.
  • The ability to understand the social agency of code of a particular technology, i.e., how the program promotes, constricts or redefines social functions through its affordances.
  • The ability to identify the benefits of contributing to a social media environment that operates as a gift economy versus a market economy (including the ability to identify social media environments that operate as both simultaneously).
  • The ability to articulate in personal terms how networked participation is changing the relationship with one's local environment, and be able to calculate trade offs and assume responsibility for one's choices.

On the historical trend towards inclusivity and openness

Rob Weir, from the Antic Disposition blog:

"It does seem that the general flow of history has been:

  1. A move from undocumented or improvised laws to laws that are fixed and publicly documented.
  2. A move from laws created by a single entity to laws formed as part of a deliberative, multilateral, consensual process.
  3. A move toward increasing inclusivity as to who whose interests are considered.

So we should never stop at a claim of "openness" and say that with the mere application of this label that all diligence has been performed. You need to ask yourself always, whose interests have been taken into account? All? Many? Few? One?

There seems to me to be a natural parallel here with the "open standard" moniker. Is it a single fixed and unitary concept that admits of no degrees? Or is there a wide range of standards which share the concept "open" to one degree or another? How thinly can the concept be diluted? Can it be homeopathically prepared, with one drop enough to inoculate gallons?

I think the key is to move away from the mere consideration of the process of standardization and to also consider the content of the standard. Just as a Constitution that held that women could not vote was far from open, even though it was drafted in an open committee process, a standard that does not facilitate use by competitors is not open, regardless of the process that created led to it. We need to move beyond strictly process-oriented definitions of openness and bring in considerations of content and results. A standard can be per-se non-open if its content violates important principles of openness." (

Joi Ito's Optimism on Open Networks

Joi Ito:

"I am optimistic that open networks will continue to grow and become available to more and more people. I am optimistic that computers will continue to become cheaper and more available. I am optimistic that the hardware and software will become more open, transparent and free. I am optimistic that the ability to for people to create, share and remix their works will provide a voice to the vast majority of people.

I believe that the Internet, open source and a global culture of discourse and sharing will become the pillar of democracy for the 21st Century. Whereas those in power as well as terrorists who are not have used broadcast technology and the mass media of the 20th century against the free world, I am optimistic that Internet will enable the collective voice of the people and that voice will be a voice of reason and good will." (

On the need for portable social networks

"Systems architected ignorant of the multiplicity of lives people lead force people to waste time repeating themselves (to systems) and copying information (between systems). More generally users of these systems fail to realize the full potential benefit of the knowledge they have shared."

- Bill Burcham [15]

Organizational Resources

Activist Campaigns

  1. Bad Vista Campaign
  2. Digital Majority
  3. Dynamic Coalition on the Internet Bill of Rights
  4. End Software Patents
  5. Free the Airwaves: Google's Open Spectrum campaign
  6. No OOXML
  7. Stop software patents

Open Definitions

Without broad access none of the below can be used by the average citizen, so check out the:

List of open definitions:

  1. "The" Open Definition
  2. The Open Standards Definition. By Bruce Perens.
  3. Open Standards Requirement for Software
  4. Free Content Definition
  5. Declaration on Libre Knowledge
  6. The Open Software Service Definition [16], i.e. The Free/Open Service Definition (v1.0)
  7. Franklin Street Statement on Freedom and Network Services, which concerns Network Service Licenses
  8. Draft for discussion proposed by Evan Prodromou: Principles for Free Services
  9. The Free Network Definition, draft proposed by the Free Network Foundation


  1. Definition of Free Cultural Works
  2. Open Source Media Definition


  1. Open Source Definition
  2. Debian's Free Software Guidelines

Design and Manufacturing:

  1. Open Design Definition
  2. Open Source Hardware Definition


  1. What do we need to have "economically-significant, replicable, open source physical production efforts?", i.e. true Distributive Production. Marcin Jakubowski proposes a set of OSE Specifications to judge such efforts.
  2. The Social Contract for Virtual Citizens

Standards Bodies and Communities

Interesting history of Internet Governance by Harry Halpin at


  1. Web Standards Project
  2. World Wide Web Consortium W3C
  3. Digital Standards Organisation
  4. Open Web Foundation
  5. OASIS

Standards Lists and Directories


  1. Activity Standards
  2. Identity Standards‎‎
  3. Open Social Web Standards
  4. Privacy Standards
  5. Profile Standards‎
  6. Social Media Standards

Examples of important internet and web standards:

  1. User authentication - Open ID
  2. API authentication - oAuth
  3. Content Identity Validation - Micro ID
  4. Messaging - XMPP
  5. Syndication - RSS
  6. Attention - APML
  7. Services - YADIS
  8. Subscriptions - OPML
  9. Personal details - hCard
  10. Relationships - XFN
  11. Personal Profile Data & Social Networks - FOAF
  12. Online Communities - SIOC

Policy Proposals

  1. Policy Recommendations for a Safe Usage of Social Network Sites
  2. Reputation Rights
  3. Information Infrastructure as a Public Good Mark Cooper.
  4. Governing the Spectrum Commons. Mark Cooper.
  5. Open Architecture as Communications Policy. Book edited by Mark Cooper.
  6. Open Communications Platforms
  7. Milestones: The Netherlands and Norway are mandating open standards for government


  1. Ars Aperta: an independent consulting firm focusing on free and open source software related strategies for corporate and governmental organizations.

Pages in category "Standards"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 1,230 total.

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