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Title: "The Economic Realities of Open Standards: Black, White and Many Shades of Gray"
Author: Joel West
Publication Date: October 10 2005
Free/Fee: Free Access
Reads: 7846
Abstract: Open standards have long been popular among buyers of goods and services in the information technology sector. Self-interested buyers and sellers, however, have had incentives to overstate (or understate) the openness of various standards. This paper rejects the simplified view that there is a single model of an open standard, as well as the assumption that a fully open solution is always an optimal (or even a feasible) outcome. The author analyzes various economic and technological forces that make standards more or less open and how these economic forces are affected by the policy choices available to firms, standards setting organizations, and regulators. The author uses this analysis to suggest objective measures for standards openness and a typology of common bundles of standards rights; he also notes the practical limits to open standards.
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