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Internet Archive Launches BookServer Project

The Internet Archive has launched the BookServer project: an open system for finding, buying, and borrowing digital books over the Internet.


At our launch event on Monday, the Internet Archive demonstrated how the BookServer ecosystem could be used to deliver books several e-book readers, including the OLPC laptop, the Amazon Kindle, the iPhone, the Sony Reader, and the Humanware VictorReader Stream, a talking eReader for the blind and print-disabled.

The Internet Archive also announced it was making all 1.6 million public domain books on available in EPUB and Daisy talking book formats, to better support e-book devices.

To help develop BookServer, the Internet Archive partnered with OLPC, Aldiko, ThreePress, Pixel Qi, Inkmesh, FLOSS Manuals, University of Toronto Libraries, LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Shortcovers, Feedbooks, O’Reilly Media,  Adobe, Bluefire Productions, Humanware, Ingram, Lexcycle, author Katie Hafner, and many others.

We were pleased that so many partners could join us on Monday for the BookServer launch party. For those who couldn’t attend, the Follow the Reader blog has an excellent article detailing the BookServer launch.

Resource Shelf has an extensive overview of BookServer media coverage. Thanks to everyone who helped develop and launch the BookServer ecosystem! If you are an author, publisher, book seller, device maker, library, or a reader, please help us in building an open ecosystem for online books!


Liveblogging Day 2 of the “Making Books Apparent” meeting

George Oates, IA, Open Library:

GeorgeO redesign going live in 1-2 months!

SJ Klein, One Laptop Per Child:


As of last week, all 400,000 school children in Uruguay have OLPC Laptops! They are carried in bags like this:


After collecting 2.5-3 years of data, Uruguay estimates TCO of an OLPC XO laptop to be $280 for four years of use. The hardware cost is about $190 of this, the rest is maintenance cost.

BookServer Use Cases:

  • Collaborative writings
  • InfoSlicer: OLPC wikipedia mashup activity
  • Reading books, now with EPUB support, soon with direct editing
  • “Get IA Books” activity was one of the first BookServer software clients!

Showing the Rural Design Collective’s prototype topic browser for books on the OLPC:

Minh Truong, Aldiko:

Beta version of Aldiko showing IA Bookserver integration!


Liza Daly, ThreePress, Ibis Reader:

Ibis Reader: “The ereader designed for readers first!”

Standards-based cloud iPhone reader with offline support, and non-drm purchasing.


Uses standards all the way: BookServer, OPDS, EPUB, and HTML5.

Adam Hyde and Douglass Bagnall, FLOSS Manuals, and Booki:


Booki is a “book wiki”: an open-source online writing and publishing engine.

Booki Developers

  • We are not publishers
  • As artists we have come to know and love free (LIBRE) technology and free (LIBRE) content
  • We have founded, work with/in, mentored, and grown the FLOSS Manuals community for 2+ years



Booki being used to ingest EPUB from, correct OCR mistakes, and then re-upload to!


Above, using Booki to correct typos in IA’s Tom Sawyer EPUB!

Bill Janssen, PARC:

UpLib is an open-source personal digital library system:


Michael Tamblyn, Shortcovers:

“Your whole reading life, always with you.”


“How OPDS can help”, in the form of a screenplay:


OPDS needs to address Territorial Rights problems.

Cartwright Reed, VP Product Development, Ingram:


  • It cost Ingram $6 to print a book and $0.50 to deliver. This cost is $0 and $0.01 for an ebook.
  • Transition from physical to digital is happening faster than most people in the industry were expecting.
  • DRM is dud. It just takes one person to copy and share a file.
  • Music lead the way in transition from analog to digital, and is leading the way again in the transition from DRM to DRM-Free
  • Production, distribution, and discovery are nearly free.
  • Creation, curation, and community are not free.
  • The digital space is the exciting one.
  • As long as content is static, it doesn’t accrete value.
  • Physical book sales 1.5 years ago (estimate)


Current distribution chain:

Author -> Publisher -> Distributer -> Reseller -> Consumer

BookServer allows you to go straight from Author->Consumer, or any other iteration in the above distribution chain.

Written by internetarchive

October 20, 2009 at 5:00 pm

Liveblogging the “Making Books Apparent” meeting

Brewster Kahle, IA:


  • 1.6 Million public domain books on
  • 20 Scanning centers in 5 countries
  • 150 contributing libraries
  • 20th century books not well-represented online
  • IA is starting to receive and own physical books
  • Today, IA will launch the BookServer project, and demostrate loans of 20th century works
  • BookServer will integrate publishers, libraries, booksellers, and readers in in an open, robust system.

Peter Brantley, IA:


  • We need a web of books that will permit people to find, buy, download, and read books on any device.
  • Will be based on Lexcycle’s Stanza iPhone app
  • The data interchange will be based on Atom
  • BookServer will work with any e-book format. EPUB will be the common format.


  • Bookserver” is the architechture.
  • OPDS” is the technical specification.
  • Catalogs” are made using OPDS.
  • Atom” is the XML scheme for OPDS.


  • Any web site can run a bookstore.
  • Libraries, bookstores, and publishers can join in
  • Search engines can server as book gateways
  • Aggregators can harvest multiple catalogs
  • New uses will be emerging

New NLS Digital Talking Book Player for the Print Disabled:


Keith Fahlgren, O’Reilly Media:


” I really like to create the future I want to inherit.”


  • Distributors
  • Aggregators
  • Readers (both people and devices)

Marc Prud’hommeaux, Lexcycle:

Showing demo of how 1.5M IA EPUBs in Stanza, through BookServer ecosystem:


Hadrien Gardeur, Feedbooks:

Subscriptions in OPDS:


A Hulu for Magazines and Newspapers through OPDS? Sure, we can do it!

Michael Ang, IA:


Open-source tools for creating OPDS catalogs at

Written by internetarchive

October 19, 2009 at 4:28 pm