New Roadmap for Future of Publishing is Underway as W3C and IDPF Officially Combine

Author(s) and publish date


Publishing@W3C heralds future for how we will read, author, publish, and discover content and services with Web technologies


Read testimonials — 1 February, 2017 — The vision to align Publishing and Web technologies and create a new roadmap for the future of publishing became official today with the announcement that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) have combined organizations. W3C is the global standards organization that develops foundational Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, SVG, XML and WCAG. IDPF developed the EPUB standard used globally for accessible ebooks and digital publications.


logo for Publishing at W3C


Web Inventor and W3C Director Sir Tim Berners-Lee first shared his vision for the future of publishing on the Web at IDPF’s DigiCon event in May 2016, where the two organizations publicly announced plans to explore a combination to accelerate the alignment of technologies.

The IDPF membership approved the plan, by a large majority (88%), and the IDPF Board and W3C have finalized the transaction. The agreement also includes an unprecedented number of organizations -- including most IDPF members and several large publishers who are not IDPF members -- that have made Royalty-Free (RF) commitments to ensure that the future of EPUB and the Open Web Platform for publishing is not patent encumbered.

"W3C is thrilled to gain the expertise of the publishing industry with its rich tradition of excellence in developing many forms of content for books, magazines, journals, educational materials and scholarly publications," said Dr. Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. "Working together, Publishing@W3C will bring exciting new capabilities and features to the future of publishing, authoring and reading using Web technologies."

Jaffe added that by participating in W3C activities, publishing organizations will learn about new innovations from other industries, such as music and entertainment, whose technologies, like publishing, pre-dated the Web. In the future, book authors will be able to seamlessly incorporate Web capabilities such as linking to dynamic documents, search, and multimedia.

George Kerscher, Chief Innovations Officer for the DAISY Consortium and President of IDPF since 2010 commented, "By combining our organizations, we not only align our technology roadmaps, but also accelerate the adoption of content that is natively accessible and device-friendly for all types of publishing, whether you are reading on the Web or offline."

The Publishing@W3C roadmap includes plans to charter new standards work this spring that will focus on both online as well as offline access for digital publications. This means that someone reading on a device that is not connected to the Web may still interact and retain the information when he or she is back online, and vice versa.

To ensure EPUB's maintenance and advance EPUB's further adoption, W3C is setting up a separate EPUB (3.1) Community Group that is free and open to anyone to participate.

W3C is also planning to explore meeting the next generation of EPUB requirements in a proposed Publications Working Group. The next EPUB Summit will take place 9-10 March in Brussels, Belgium.

A newly formed W3C Publishing Business Group will hold its first face-to-face meeting on Monday, 13 March in London, UK, the day before the London Book Fair opens. Participation in the W3C Publishing Business Group is open to IDPF and W3C members, and other interested organizations who wish to join this group. The Publishing Business Group will be the focal point for the community to address new needs and requirements and serve as a forum for industry discussions.

W3C has named Bill McCoy to oversee a smooth transition of former IDPF members and other interested organizations from the publishing ecosystem into W3C. McCoy was formerly Executive Director of IDPF. The former IDPF Board of Directors will transition to new roles on the W3C Publishing Steering Committee, providing strategic direction and liaising with the publishing community and the various Publishing@W3C groups. For more information about participation in Publishing@W3C activities contact Alan Bird, Global Business Development Leader at

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The mission of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is to lead the Web to its full potential by creating technical standards and guidelines to ensure that the Web remains open, accessible, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. W3C standards HTML5 and CSS are the foundational technologies upon which all Web sites are built. For its work to make online videos more accessible with captions and subtitles, W3C received a 2016 Emmy Award.

W3C's vision for "One Web" brings together thousands of dedicated technologists representing more than 400 member organizations and dozens of industry sectors. Organizationally, W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the United States, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan and Beihang University in China. For more information see

EPUB is a registered trademark of W3C.

End Press Release

Media Contact

Karen Myers, W3C <>
Mobile: 1.978.502.6218


ACCESS CO. LTD.AdobeAntenna HouseApex Content and Media SolutionsAscend LearningAssociazione Italiana Editori AIEBenetechCWIEDRLabSyndicat National de l’EditionVitalSource Ingram Vivliostyle Inc.Wiley


ACCESS welcomes full combination of W3C and IDPF. Books have been saved as enormous human intelligence. Web technology provide unlimited capability to share information to the world. The combination of books and the Web makes expansion of the whole publication market and the creation of new business. We will cooperate with all of you joined Publishing@W3C, so that we will establish intelligence for new generation together.

Ryuji Natsuumi, COO-Japan, VP of Digital Publishing Business Unit, ACCESS CO., LTD.


As the leader in creative content authoring and publishing, Adobe is pleased with the merger of W3C and the IDPF. Adobe has worked with both organizations to bring professional publishing techniques to the Open Web Platform and we look forward to working together to set the roadmap for the future of publishing. The work on Web Publications will serve to continue the W3C’s efforts to shape the way that content is delivered – from classic publications, to documents, to any content destined for distribution.

Leonard Rosenthol, Senior Principal Scientist, Adobe

Antenna House

アンテナハウスはW3CとIDPFの完全統合を歓迎いたします。弊社は、2011年より、デジタル書籍制作Webサービス(CAS-UB) というワンソースからPDF、EPUB、Webを作るサービスを提供しています。EPUBとWebは内容を記述する形式としてHTMLを共有しています。 しかし、Webの基本であるURIや通信プロトコルの面では統合が不十分であり、EPUBとWebが別の存在となっているのに不便を感じていました。 W3CとIDPFの統合により、今後、EPUBのWebへの統合が進むことを期待しています。

Tokushige Kobayashi, President, Antenna House
アンテナハウス株式会社 代表取締役社長 小林 徳滋

Antenna House welcomes the full combination of W3C and IDPF which will bring together the Web and EPUB under one umbrella and address the current limitations from previously having had the two as separate efforts.  Since 2011 Antenna House has offered Cloud Authoring Service for Universal Books (CAS-UB) that can produce PDF, EPUB and Web from one source and we will greatly benefit from the combination of W3C and IDPF.

Tokushige Kobayashi, President, Antenna House

Apex Content and Media Solutions

This is a watershed in the evolution of the publishing ecosystem. As digital publishing has advanced, format flexibility and content interoperability have become essential. Content needs to move fluidly between sectors—books, journals, magazines, news, education and training—and adapt to the formats in which users want to consume it, online or offline. Open Web technologies developed and maintained by the W3C are what make all that work. Establishing EPUB, the format on which today's digital publishing industry has come to rely, as a first-class citizen of the Open Web Platform provides the best possible foundation for an exciting future for publishers of all types.

Bill Kasdorf, VP and Principal Consultant

Ascend Learning

As an IDPF board member and driver of e-learning content capabilities, I celebrate this milestone combination of the W3C and IDPF, two organizations that have led the way to flexible, accessible and portable learning content. By combining development efforts and aligning technology roadmaps, the prospect of rich, interactive, personalized learning experiences that produce better, measurable outcomes is bright indeed. Ascend Learning looks forward to the exciting new capabilities that are sure to emerge from this combination.

Paul Belfanti, VP Production and Content Architecture

Associazione Italiana Editori AIE

The mission of IDPF is to foster global adoption of an open, accessible, interoperable standard to promote and create innovation in the digital publishing ecosystem. With the combination with W3C this mission will be strengthened. Thanks to the integration of the skills, editorial and technological, of the two involved communities it will be possible to reach more effectively the results necessary to allow all publishers to create innovative, accessible and mobile-ready online and offline digital publications.

Cristina Mussinelli, Digital Publishing


Benetech, a long standing member of both W3C and IDPF, has worked closely with both organizations to establish and advance accessibility standards. With the IDPF’s EPUB architecture based on W3C’s web technologies, the W3C and IDPF merger will help accelerate the accessibility of future publications to not only be born digital but also born accessible. Benetech is excited to be a part of this new joint partnership and is looking forward to an accessible and bright future.

Brad Turner, VP of Global Literacy, Benetech


As an academic research institution, it is in CWI's interest to see academic publishing evolve towards a more Web based, interactive, and globally accessible form of communication, providing a superior user experience for researchers both online and offline. We are greatly encouraged by, and welcome the combination of IDPF and W3C, which we believe will help bringing us closer to a new type of environment for scholarly publishing.

Jos Baeten, general director of Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)


The European Digital Reading Lab (EDRLab) is excited at the prospect of participating to the evolution of publishing standards and associated technologies with experts from two complementary domains, publishing and Web. Since 2015, we are promoting interoperability and accessibility via a broader use of EPUB in Europe. We believe that W3C support will encourage a broader adoption of EPUB 3, beyond the book industry, and may position EPUB as THE publishing format or any type of document. We are also confident that the work on Portable Web Publications, as initiated by W3C and IDPF experts inside the DPUB IG, associated with the work of the Readium Foundation on modern open-source reading software, will bring great benefits to readers in the coming years, including print-disabled people.

Laurent Le Meur, CTO, EDRLab

Syndicat National de l’Edition
(French Publishers Association)

The Digital Working Group at the Syndicat National de l'Edition (French publishers association)  welcomes the IDPF - W3C combination. French publishers are strongly supportive of the EPUB format, as one of the key elements of the open and interoperable ebook ecosystem they promote. This is a unique opportunity for the EPUB community, familiar with web standards, to enrich itself in contact with other W3C groups, benefiting from their skills and advances. In return, the W3C will benefit from the valuable know-how accumulated over the years in the book publishing world, particularly regarding the "arts of readability."

Virginie Clayssen, President of Digital Working Group

VitalSource Ingram

As a participant in the working groups leading to EPUB 2, EPUB 3 and EPUB 3.1, and as an industry leader in the implementation of solutions to bring EPUB content and authoring systems to learners around the world, we are excited for this next step in the delivery of open web solutions. The combination of W3C and IDPF aligns the goals, needs and requirements of users around the globe. VitalSource is committed to bringing improved solutions to our content creators, partners and end users based on the work of W3C and IDPF and are excited to continue our leadership in this area.

Rick Johnson, VP of Product Strategy, VitalSource

Vivliostyle Inc.


Shinyu Murakami, Founder and CTO, Vivliostyle Inc.
株式会社ビブリオスタイル 会長兼CTO 村上 真雄

Vivliostyle believes that the merge of W3C and IDPF accelerates further progress of digital publishing technologies. This merge has positive impacts on Vivliostyle, since our products are browser-based software for creating a paginated view of HTML documents. Vivliostyle has participated in the development of CSS at W3C, and our advisors have contributed to the development of EPUB at IDPF. We continue to contribute to standardization in this area while developing web-based publishing software.

Shinyu Murakami, Founder and CTO, Vivliostyle Inc.


Wiley is thrilled to see the two organizations coming together. We can now return to focusing more on publishing as a means to share and communicate knowledge, and less on scrambling to adapt to the plethora of new devices and modalities. We believe the standards of the two organizations overlap more than they diverge. We look forward to the continuing evolution of publishing, wherever it happens.

Patrick Johnston, Director of Platform Architecture, Product Technology

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