South Africa

This is the section on open standards from the South African Government Minimum Interoperability Standards document:

2.3.1 There are number of definitions of open standards which emphasise different aspects of openness, including of the resulting specification, the openness of the drafting process, and the ownership of rights in the standard. The list below contains frequently cited indicators of the openness of a standard. For the purposes of the MIOS, a standard shall be considered open if it meets all of these criteria. There are standards which we are obliged to adopt for pragmatic reasons which do not necessarily fully conform to being open in all respects. In such cases, where an open standard does not yet exist, the degree of openness will be taken into account when selecting an appropriate standard:

  • it should be maintained by a non-commercial organization
  • participation in the ongoing development work is based on decision-making processes that are open to all interested parties.
  • open access: all may access committee documents, drafts and completed standards free of cost or for a negligible fee.
  • It must be possible for everyone to copy, distribute and use the standard free of cost.
  • The intellectual rights required to implement the standard (e.g. essential patent claims) are irrevocably available, without any royalties attached.
  • There are no reservations regarding reuse of the standard.
  • There are multiple implementations of the standard


Link to the Minimum Interoperability Standards (MIOL) PDF document from the State IT Agency

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The Digistan definition of a free and open standard is based on the EU's EIF v1 definition of "open standard" with the language cleaned-up and made more explicit. Our analysis of the importance of vendor capture in determining the openness of a standard comes from this analysis.

Statutory definitions

» European Union definition
» South African definition
» German SAGA
» German Parliament

Civil Society

» OSI litmus