From Publishing Perspectives:
In her introduction to the study On the Interoperability of Ebook Formats, Neelie Kroes, EU Digital Economy VP Commissioner, wrote: “Interoperability is a major requirement to build a truly digital society. This applies to ebooks too.”
Unfortunately, many publishers did not take the hint, convinced as they are that it is not the authorities’ business to regulate interoperability and standards. In the same study, Kroes went on to say: “When you buy a printed book it’s yours to take where you like. It should be the same with an ebook. You can now open a document on different computers, so why not an ebook on different platforms and in different apps? One should be able to read one’s ebook anywhere, anytime on any device.”
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Still, the resistance of private companies could hold up the creation of a single European digital market, despite the existence of common guidelines of interoperability and goals established by thePillar II of the European Digital Agenda. “The internet is a great example of interoperability—numerous devices and applications working together anywhere in the world. Europe must ensure that new IT devices, applications, data repositories and services interact seamlessly anywhere—just like the internet. The Digital Agenda identifies improved standard-setting procedures and increased interoperability as the keys to success.”
The Publishers Association released a document a year ago called Publishing and the Single Digital Market in which we can read that the publishing industry has supposedly reached an adequate degree of maturity to face the interoperability challenge. Oddly enough, this document barely mentions the urge to enforce those basic interoperability requirements that are fundamental for the creation of this single market.
Point 8 states: “The development of cross-border availability of content services in the Single Market could be further encouraged by the European Commission by ensuring there is healthy competition within the distribution supply chain and that interoperability between devices and platforms is supported.” But are we sure that this obligation applies to regulating authorities rather than to publishers and content developers?
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The German government recently announced that, at least within its frontiers, it will no longer be possible for multinational operators to implement their strategies of integration and vertical consumption based on formats, platforms and proprietary devices. Measures like these will be even stronger in the field of education and in the development of educational content and resources.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives