Readium.org Launches Open Source Foundation, EPUB 3 SDK Project

March 25, 2013

Paris Book Fair (Salon du livre) March 25, 2013 (PRESS RELEASE) – 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 Livres (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.

Quotes from members about the launch of Readium Foundation and Readium SDK are 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.