Candidate Statement - Denis Zwirn

Denis Zwirn

Founder and CEO of Numilog (www.numilog.comwww.numilogpro.com).  

Based in Paris and created in 1999, Numilog is an independent French company, pioneer in the eBook market. It is the leading French ebook aggregator and e-distributor and it offers its distribution services to French (e.g. Hachette Livre and 300+ others) and some other worldwide publishers (in English, Spanish, and Portuguese).

Numilog promotes its catalog of ebooks (200.000+) in French speaking countries through its own retail sites as also through a large network of retailers, especially a lot of independent booksellers. It covers both BtoC and  BtoB markets through digital lending solutions. Numilog also provides retailers with web and mobile white label sale solutions. 

For end users, Numilog offers its own cloud-based reading applications for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and previous Windows OS for PCs that offer PDF and ePub2 full reading functionalities, and are also fully adapted to comics provided in ePub fixed layout. All services and solutions covered by Numilog are developed and operated by its own team. 

Numilog has a long history of adapting to new models, systems, actors. We’ve acquired a strong expertise especially for digital asset management and delivery, distribution and reading software. We’ve developed partnership with IT companies and strong actors on this market, in France and abroad. Numilog has been one of the first e-distributor to implement the successive Adobe DRM systems since 2001 for PDF then ePub, and uses also Microsoft DRM system for audio books in WMA. 

I have been regularly committed in inter-professional projects concerning eBooks for several years. I was the consultant for the French and Spanish National Libraries in order to build economic and technical models for displaying ebooks under rights in national digital libraries, in accordance with publishers. I was a founding member of Arrow, a European consortium which aims at providing an automated process for decision-making aid relative to digital distribution of out of print and orphan works. As a member of the digital commission of the French national publisher association, I participate to actions for helping small and medium publishers to enter into the ebook market and for negotiating several public regulation projects concerning eBooks. 

As a member of Readium Foundation, I fully share its mission: the acceleration of adoption and implementation of the EPUB 3 standard, through reading applications in various environments. Numilog has begun to contribute to the launcher for Windows 8 SDK.

Interoperability is also for me a key concept that the Readium Foundation projects should contribute to improve: end users should be free to purchase eBooks anywhere and to read them with various device and software.

I am candidate for the board to help this general mission to be successful, with some principles that some of the members may share, but not necessarily all: 

-          I believe that the general mission should and could be accomplished along with a consideration of the founding members interests, who were the first investors in the project and will probably go on investing in it. 

-          I believe that we should face quietly the fact that there may be, beyond the general common goal, some divergent interests depending of the business position or mission of the members. And I would like as a Board member to express more specifically general views of e-distributors, application providers and eBooks retailers, among which several are small businesses in a highly competitive environment. 

-          I believe that even if Readium is and has to be an open source project, we should take its “hybrid” character into consideration, especially for Readium and DRM SDKs. This implies that we will have to search without any taboo for equilibrium between the “full open” view, the resources to be found for financing and developing the projects and the maintenance of the SDKs (internal or by attracting new members), and the prices and content of the licenses for non members.

The long term experience of Numilog considering eBooks retail market, end users practices, e-distribution, DRM implementation, digital lending, and reading software projects, should be an advantage for contributing efficiently to these goals. 

Thank you for your trust.