On the interoperability of e-books formats
The study was conducted by Professor Christoph Bläsi and Professor Franz Rothlauf of Johannes Gutenberg University, who said: "There is no technical or functional reason not to use and establish EPUB 3 as an/the interoperable (open) ebook format standard.
One short term obstacle is the non-availability of reader applications able to display all EPUB 3 features. However, this problem should be fixed soon by the IDPF Readium initiative which is developing an open source reference system and rendering engine for EPUB 3."
Vice-President of the European Commission, Neelie Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda, praised the study: "My wish is that booksellers in Europe can take initiatives and benefit from the growth in the ebook markets. This is why I welcome this study by the European Booksellers Federation. Interoperability is a major requirement to build a truly digital society. This applies to ebooks too. This study provides interesting insights on ways to reach true interoperability in the ebook market, through both interoperable ebook formats and interoperable DRM schemes. Now is the time for open standards regarding ebooks, just like has happened in other areas of the digital economy."
John Mc Namee, President of the
European Branch, EBF, said: "The lack of interoperability between formats
and platforms has been identified as one of the major obstacles hindering the
Digital Agenda and is a real problem for booksellers in their daily contacts
with their customers. On behalf of my colleagues from all Booksellers
Associations in membership with EBF, I am very pleased that this study provides
clear scientific evidence that interoperability is achievable. It also shows
that there are alternatives to DRM's and that content portability is feasible.
Booksellers are keen to promote business models which make digital content
easily accessible to the customers they are in touch with on a daily basis in
their terrestrial or e-bookshops, the European readers.
Equally, booksellers are keen to sell e-books across borders and make as many customers as possible happy. They strongly support an open market, without territorial restrictions, in the full respect of copyright".