International Digital Publishing Forum Announces 2006 eBook Initiatives

January 17, 2006

Will 2006 be the year of the eBook? Based on the explosion of online users, growing popularity of downloadable media, and advances in mobile reading devices the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is announcing several changes to its organizational structure as well as the election of a new Board of Directors.

The new Directors include Garth Conboy, President of eBook Technologies; Claire Israel, Director of ePublishing & eCommerce at Simon & Schuster; and Bill McCoy, General Manager, ePublishing Business at Adobe Systems Incorporated. Directors re-elected include Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive, Inc. and Rick Weingarten, Director, Office for Information Technology Policy at the American Library Association. Continuing Directors include IDPF Board Chairperson, George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium and Keith Titan, Vice President of New Media for Random House Inc.

The Board of Directors were elected by the membership of the International Digital Publishing Forum, a trade and standards organization for the digital publishing industry, whose members consist of trade and textbook publishers, hardware and software companies, retailers, libraries, accessibility advocates and others involved in the digital publishing and eBook industries.

Nick Bogaty, Executive Director of the IDPF, said "with our name change in 2005 came a new mission to represent a broader spectrum of the digital publishing industry and, with the added energy and enthusiasm of many new members, we are well-positioned to achieve our goals."

The IDPF also introduced a series of organizational reforms to expand the rights and privileges of IDPF members. The reforms have sparked the resurgence of standards activity in the industry with the formation of a new group called the Unified Container Format Working Group. The group was created to solve the problem of publishers having to generate multiple formats when providing content to multiple digital publishing platforms. When implemented, a resulting standard would allow publishers to produce only one format for entry into their distribution channels. Further information can be found at The group regularly meets and will convene in a face to face meeting in New York on February 7th and 8th to complete the majority of the specification.

"The IDPF has reinvigorated itself and is aggressively leading the digital content industry's efforts in technical standards development and research," said Garth Conboy, President of eBook Technologies, Inc. and Co-Chair of the Unified Container Format Working Group. "Both organizationally, as a new board member, and technically, as co-chair of the container format working group, I look forward to playing a role in the IDPF's continued success in driving content delivery technical standards."

The IDPF also will host its annual conference at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium on May 24th. The subject of the conference will be mobile reading. Details on the conference will be released shortly. Check for updates.

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