One of the 10 characteristics of Open Standards, as defined by Ken Krechmer.
"Controlling changes is a powerful tool to control interfaces when system updates are distributed over the internet and stored in computer memory. Even with the most liberal of IPR policies, Microsoft would still be able to control its Windows Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) by distributing updates (changes) to users that updated both sides of the API interface. Without a similar distribution at the same time, competing vendors? products on one side of the same API could be rendered incompatible by a Microsoft update.
Standards creators do not require Open Change rights as they are always involved in all the documents. Standards implementers need access to changes to update their products. Implementation testers (users and their surrogates) need access to the current standards.
The only way that interfaces can remain open is when all changes are presented, discussed and approved openly (the first six rights). Considering today?s environment of computers connected over the Internet, identifying and requiring Open Change is vital to the concept of Open Standards. Surprisingly, this is not widely understood. The original judicial order to breakup the Microsoft personal computer operating system and application software monopoly did not directly address this key issue." (http://www.csrstds.com/openstds.html)