An open society, if it utilizes communications systems, requires open standards. The personal-computer revolution and the Internet have resulted in a vast new wave of Internet users. These new users have a material interest in the technical standards that proscribe their communications. These new users make new demands on the standardization processes, often with the rallying cry, “Open standards.” As is often the case, a rallying cry means many different things to different people. This chapter explores the different requirements suggested by the term open standards. Perhaps when everyone agrees on what requirements open standards serve, it will be possible to achieve them and maintain the open society many crave.