Richer Internationalization for eBooks

Second W3C Workshop on Electronic Books and the Open Web Platform 4 June 2013, Tokyo, Japan

This is a position paper for the ebook workshop in Tokyo.

There are at least two domains were synchronization needs better definition for users of digital content on ereaders:


Currently annotation and quote in ebook ereaders are not easily synchronized in between platforms. This is a major drawback for users who would like to be able to work together on the same content across markets and ereaders. A list of few issues related to annotations and users


Currently the copyright policies makes it very hard to impossible for a user to keep its legally bought or downloaded books on a server from a different company.

For example, a Kobo ereader allows a user to:

  1. Buy a book from the Kobo shop
  2. Download a public domain epub and install it on the ereader
  3. Buy a book from another online bookshop and install it on the ereader

Once on the reader, it is impossible for the user to keep synchronization of the books across devices and reading softwares. It would require, for example in the case of kobo, to keep a copy of the book on kobo servers. Kobo would not allow that to avoid infringing copyrighted materials.

A solution could be to provide a synchronization protocol that third party services or individual users could decide to use for keeping a copy of all their books online and access them from all devices and reading software.