• Number: Policy-002
  • Status: replaced by Policy-003
  • Author: Pieter Hintjens
  • Date: 2007/11/18

This policy governs the terms of membership of the organization, pending a formal legal entity and registered bylaws / statutes.



We, the members of the Digital Standards Organization (Digistan) seek to promote customer choice, vendor competition, and overall growth in the global digital economy through the understanding, development, and adoption of open (digital) standards.


Currently, Digistan is an informal organization and is governed by consensus of the "Digistan founders workgroup", with final decisions being made by the Digistan founder, Pieter Hintjens, who is also the legally responsible party for the current informal organization.

When/if Digistan is constituted as a legal entity with bylaws/statutes, the organization will be governed by a board elected by the voting membership. The status of voting member will be granted by the board and confirmed by the voting membership by majority vote. There will be no limits on the size of the voting membership. The goal of Digistan is to create an inclusive, diverse, and meritocratic organization.

Should Digistan be constituted as a legal entity, it will be constituted in Belgium under Belgian not-for-profit legislation.

Individual membership

Membership is open to all individuals under the following conditions:

  1. Members must support the Digistan mission and must in good faith endorse and promote the Digistan definition of an open standard.
  2. Each member must maintain a personal page on the website.
  3. Members must accurately and honestly identify themselves on their personal page, using their legal name.
  4. Members must accurately note all affiliations and commercial interests that affect their work on standards, directly or indirectly, on their personal page.

Non-voting (ordinary) membership of Digistan is free and automatic upon completion of a registration process that will be documented on

The organization may suspend and/or ban members who act in ways incompatible with the mission of the organization, or its approved policies, or for breaches of the membership conditions outlined above. Examples of behavior that would be considered unacceptable are:

  • Use of the organization's infrastructure for personal gain, for distributing spam, or other activities that are of questionable legality and/or morality.
  • Use of artificial identity for the purpose of disguising one's affiliations or interests.
  • Use of personal attacks or offensive language to disrupt technical discussions.

The board will make good faith decisions on suspending and/or banning members, who will be given the opportunity to respond openly. Final decisions to suspend and/or ban members will be recorded on the member's home page.

Corporate patronage

Organizations and businesses cannot join Digistan as members, but may join as "patrons", acting as advisers to the board. Patrons have no vote but can participate actively in discussions to represent their commercial interests in standards.

Financial transparency

All funding to Digistan will be published on a regular basis. Donors may request anonymity. Donations may be made for specific workgroups. All expenditures will be published on a regular basis, in summary form that shows the breakdown per workgroup and for overall administration.

Copyright and moderation

Members retain copyright ownership in all contributions to the Digistan websites, and grant the organization an irrevocable, free license to create and own the final derivative works. Members warrant that they are the sole copyright holder of contributions conveyed under this license.

Digistan has the right to remove, without warning, any content that it deems incompatible with the mission of the organization.


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