Today Google gave a couple of presentations on the current state of KML to the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of these particular presentations were to put forth KML2.2 as an OGC best practices. KML still belongs to Google, but is in the process of moving to belong to the OGC and therefore be an open standard.
The big 'announcement' was that Google will be releasing an open-source KML library in C++ that implements and tracks the standard as it progresses. By providing a reference library it allows developers to more easily keep up to date with KML without having to maintain their own library and track standards changes.
Assumedly bindings could be written to make use of libkml in other languages like Ruby or Python.
This is smart for Google, and any publisher/consumer, as it helps ensure that clients and servers are properly using KML and there aren't various mixed versions beings published.
The library is expected to be available the first quarter of 2008 - and available under an as yet to be determined open-source license.