Two entities in the digital publishing sphere that GoodeReader greatly admires–OverDrive and the IDPF–are at odds over a planned merger between the IDPF and W3C. Steve Potash, OverDrive’s CEO, has vehemently expressed concerns over the upcoming member vote on the merger in the past, and is reiterating those concerns with the IDPF board and membership.
The IDPF, or International Digital Publishing Forum, has worked hard for many years to digital publishing to its current state, a fact that Potash actually applauds the organization for. It is this very effort that he sees slipping away, though, with the planned merger.
The goal is to bring the IDPF under the W3C umbrella, giving it a place alongside several other webcentric organizations. W3c, or the World Wide Web Consortium, is a multi-faceted agency that works to establish standard practices for the internet, or creating a set of practices and guidelines to unify the internet.
On the surface, this might not seem like a big deal. A merger between the two entities would give the larger and more broadly-scoped W3C control over an organization that furthers the industry of digital publishing. But the IDPF was almost solely responsible for the development of ePub3; if control of the IDPF is given to W3C, ePub3 goes with it. Potash fears that this will mean the book industry is no longer in charge of one of the main file types for digital reading.
The real problem for Potash is the hurry-hurry aspect that he feels surrounded this merger. The issue has already been presented to IDPF’s members in good standing, and voting will close on November 4th. However, the IDPF’s Bill McCoy has stated on several occasions that a member vote does not mean the merger will happen or that the terms of that merger have been determined. It only gauges the interest in moving forward with the plan, a plan that was announced nearly six months ago.