Consortium of Book Publishing Technology Companies Formally Launch Readium.org Open Source Foundation

[Press Release]

Readium.org Launches Open Source Foundation, EPUB 3 SDK Project
Digital publishing industry leaders fostering a common open source platform for digital publishing

The Readium.org open source initiative today announced its evolution into a formal consortium of member companies fostering a community of open source projects for digital publishing. Also unveiled today was a new Readium SDK project to develop an EPUB® 3 rendering engine optimized for native apps on tablets and other devices.

Initial members of the new Readium Foundation include ACCESS, Aldiko, Bluefire Productions, Baker & Taylor, Benetech, Bokbasen, DAISY Consortium, Datalogics, De Marque, DILICOM, eBook.de, Eden Livre (a joint venture of Gallimard, La Martinière and Flammarion), Editis, Evident Point, Feedbooks, Firebrand Technologies, Hachette Livre, IDPF, Izneo, Kobo, LIA (by Italian Publishers Association), Mantano, Numilog, Rakuten, Sony Corporation, TXTR, and Vibal Publishing House.

Readium.org was launched in 2012 by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and supporters in order to develop a browser-based reference implementation of the EPUB 3 standard. Its initial project has matured into a popular Chrome browser extension (available on the Chrome Web Store), which supports all EPUB 3 functionality. The codebase has been adopted as the nucleus of several browser-based “cloud” readers, including the new Bookshare Web Reader, and the project will continue on that vector as “Readium Web”.

Today marks the public announcement of a new “Readium SDK” open source project that is developing implementation of EPUB 3 for native applications, optimized for high performance on resource-constrained mobile devices. Kobo made a substantial donation of code and architectural leadership to help seed the Readium SDK project. Several other supporters have also begun contributing resources and expertise, including Bluefire Productions, Evident Point, and IDPF.

To oversee both projects, and to undertake other future activities to develop commercial-grade open source technology to accelerate industry-wide adoption of EPUB 3 and HTML5, over two dozen leading companies in the global digital publishing industry have joined together to form a new membership-based nonprofit Readium Foundation. Readium Foundation is vendor-neutral and open to all, and will operate transparently to improve completeness and consistency of support for EPUB 3 across implementations. Each of the founding member companies has committed to significant financial and/or development contributions.

For additional quotes from members and supporters about the launch of Readium Foundation and Readium SDK, please see attached quote sheet, also available at http://readium.org/foundation_sdk_launch_quotes .

About Readium.org / Readium Foundation

Readium Foundation (Readium.org) is a Delaware non-profit membership corporation (501c(6)), established in 2013 to develop commercial-grade open source components to advance digital publishing for EPUB and the Open Web Platform. To learn more about Readium SDK and Readium Web, access source code and other resources, and learn how you can participate in the Readium.org community, visit http://readium.org .

Readium and the Readium logo are trademarks of Readium Foundation. EPUB is a registered trademark of the IDPF

 

Addendum – Quote Sheet from Readium Foundation Members

ACCESS
“ACCESS provided a significant share of the technology needed to create Readium, including technology from our NetFront™ BookReader EPUB Edition, which supports EPUB 3. Our EPUB 3 viewer is capable of faithfully reproducing a wide range of complex content specific to Japanese text, such as vertical text and Kanji characters. Building on our extensive experience with multiplatform e-book solutions, we will continue making every possible contribution to the widespread adoption of Readium Web and Readium SDK.”
– Kunihiro Ishiguro, Senior Executive Officer and CTO, ACCESS

Baker and Taylor
“Baker & Taylor and I are very excited to be a contributing member of the ground-breaking initiative of Readium.org to provide an open source solution to accelerate the adoption of EPUB 3 and HTML5. As our industry continues its march into the Digital Age, commercial-grade components that remove obstacles and increase the speed to market for publishers, suppliers, retailers and libraries will be invaluable to all.”
– Matt Carroll, Executive Vice President and CIO, Baker & Taylor

Benetech
“Benetech has always been a supporter of open source and eBook accessibility. We’re making every effort to help the publishing industry and other content creators move toward creating and delivering ‘born accessible’ content. Benetech has contributed accessibility features to Readium and has deployed Readium Web under the Bookshare Web Reader name to over 250,000 Bookshare members with print disabilities. We look forward to being a member of the Readium Foundation and continued collaboration with IDPF.”
– Gerardo Capiel, VP Engineering, Benetech

Bluefire Productions
“EPUB 3 has the potential to dramatically enhance the market for engaging digital publications of all kinds, but fully realizing this opportunity requires a common reading system SDK that delivers predictable and consistent content rendering across platforms and vendors. That’s why Bluefire Productions has committed code, expertise, and financial backing to the Readium initiative. We see this cross-industry collaboration as a watershed development in the evolution of the digital publishing industry that is right in line with our mission to create new market opportunities for publishers, retailers, libraries and other distributors of high value content. We believe that a robust, diverse and competitive market benefits everyone, but most importantly, readers.”
– Micah Bowers, Founder & CEO, Bluefire Productions

Datalogics
“We are proud to be part of the establishment of the Readium Foundation and to be participating in the development of the Readium SDK. With this technology, publishers will be able to deliver rich media capabilities that readers want with the confidence that those readers will get a consistent and rich experience. Developers will be able to leverage this robust framework, with full support for EPUB 3 capabilities, and focus on differentiating their apps to enhance their readers’ experience; and readers will experience the full capabilities of EPUB 3 regardless of what platform they’re using. We are committed to incorporating the Readium SDK into the eBook technologies we provide to developers, enabling them to deliver full EPUB 3 capabilities with commercial, rights-managed content.”
– Matt Kuznicki, VP Engineering, Datalogics

DAISY Consortium
“The DAISY Consortium works with publishing and technology partners to deliver the best way to read and publish. Our goal is to enable publishing and technology industries to meet national disability legislation and obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Our contributions to the EPUB 3 ecosystem, including participation in the new Readium Foundation, are aimed at making accessibility a core aspect of mainstream digital publishing. Thanks to EPUB 3’s added semantic and navigational richness, it is now possible to create publications that are both dynamic and accessible.”
– Stephen King, President, DAISY Consortium
De Marque
“Sharing code, information, expertise and know-how in the world of ebook publishing is certainly not only useful but also very exciting! This is why we are extremely proud to join the Readium Foundation as a Charter member. With our ebook distribution platforms servicing many of the most important publishers from Canada, France and Italy, we are the technology head of a network of over 700 international partners. Each of them will benefit from the Foundation’s innovation to accelerate accessibility of ePub3 and HTML5. Moreover, we will make good friends and have great intellectual challenges. What else can we ask?”
– Marc Boutet, CEO De Marque

DILICOM
DILICOM is a French inter-professional services provider that since 1989 has been a facilitator in the book trade. We are now involved in the e-book industry with publishers and retailers and we are strongly determined to contribute to the development of new standards to help the market grow. Our values are in accordance with those of the Readium Foundation which is why we are happy to confirm our support of this exciting and innovative project.
– Vincent Marty, General Manager, DILICOM
eBook.de (formaly Libri.de):
“As Germany’s E-Book pioneer we successfully contributed in the introduction of the currently well-established EPUB 2 standard to Europe’s biggest publishing market. Now EPUB 3 opens up new possibilities in the publication of content, such as the inclusion of new web-based technologies and resources. To establish a common EPUB 3 standard, and to make corresponding software modules accessible to the broadest range of partners possible, lies within the interest of all authors, publishers and vendors. That is why we support the Readium Initiative.”
– Per Dalheimer, CEO, eBook.de

Hachette Livre
“Hachette Livre has always been a fervent supporter of EPUB 3 because an open format is a driver for digital publishing. Hachette Livre’s teams are excited about participating in the EPUB 3 SDK project and in the design of the “missing link” that will enable EPUB 3 adoption with open source software. With this move, Hachette Livre intends to contribute to a common standard that will enhance the digital reading experience.”
– Pierre Danet, Senior Digital Technology Officer, Hachette Livre

International Digital Publishing Association (IDPF)
“The industry collaboration within Readium.org is a watershed moment for digital publishing. The new Readium Foundation will complement the work of IDPF and its 300+ members and help significantly in expanding the overall EPUB 3 ecosystem.”
– George Kerscher, President, IDPF

Kobo
“Kobo is a strong supporter of open standards including EPUB 3 – enabling users everywhere to access the best content and experience possible. Through the Readium project, we are taking that belief one step further by supporting the development of a comprehensive industry-leading open source EPUB 3 SDK.”
– Dan Leibu, CTO, Kobo

LIA – Libri Italiani Accessibili (a service by AIE – Italian Publishers Association)
“The goal of LIA is to increase the availability of digital books for blind and visually impaired readers, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the new EPUB features. The Readium initiative strive to integrate with platform accessibility features to allow access for all users, including those with disabilities and we believe its implementation will certainly open new opportunities in this area. Furthermore the Readium initiative is based on open standards and foster full interoperability that we believe are fundamental components for the proper development of the digital market.”
– Marco Polillo, President, AIE

Mantano
“As a developer of e-reading applications for e-paper devices manufacturers and publisher of a famous e-reading application, Mantano has contributed to the rise of e-reading by providing powerful, robust and smooth applications that facilitate its adoption. Based on its insights on the history of e-book formats, Mantano is very excited to join together in the development of a cross-platform SDK for the EPUB 3 format, that will reduce compatibility issues encountered by users. EPUB 3 is a modern and flexible format that deserves a solid reference implementation to address its huge potential targets.”
– Jean-Marie Geffroy, Founder & President, Mantano

Numilog
“Free market and interoperability require worldwide standards. We need a standard for producing content. We need a standard for distribution and protection. That is why Numilog is very excited to be a founding member of Readium Foundation, and to contribute to the establishment of the EPUB 3 standard. As one of the pioneers of eBooks in the world, and a major French e-distributor, Numilog is happy to share its market and user experience. Our mission is to offer the largest interoperability to customers and to provide open solutions to booksellers. Open standards like EPUB 3 are critical to that mission.”
– Denis Zwirn, President, Numilog.com

 

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