World’s Leading E-Book Standard Moves to Address Japanese Vertical Writing Style

World’s Leading E-Book Standard Moves to Address Japanese Vertical Writing Style
Yomiuri Shimbun: 電子書籍の世界規格、縦書きの日本語にも対応へ
September 24, 2011

EPUB, which has become the world’s leading e-book standard, will become compatible with Japanese, which is traditionally written up-to-down and right-to-left, it was learned on the 24th.

Standards in the domestic e-book market vary between end users and mass media distributors, and this has handicapped the market’s growth. Electronic media distributors like Sony and Rakuten are seeking a single standard for large distributors. They hope a unification of world standards would increase users’ convenience. It could also possibly revolutionize the domestic publishing industry and ratchet up the heat on bookstores.

Sony and other companies are awaiting the American IDPF (International Digital Publishing Forum) in mid-October, when the new “EPUB 3” system will be launched. EPUB 3 is expected to reach the market by the end of the year.

International and Domestic E-Book Standards
The Current State of E-Book Standards
EPUB is the leading international standard. It is used by the American companies Apple, Google, and the like, but not by Japanese publishers. EPUB is investigating how to handle Japanese.
Inside Japan, the two leading systems are XMDF, used by Shogakukan and other companies, and Dotbook, employed by Kodansha and other firms. These two are headed toward mutual compatibility, as well.
Mass media companies themselves, like Sony and Rakuten, are also trying to bring about mutual compatibility between systems.

Original/原稿:
電子書籍の世界規格、縦書きの日本語にも対応へ

 欧米で電子書籍の事実上の世界標準となっている規格が、10月にも縦書きの日本語にも対応することが24日、分かった。

 国内の電子書籍市場は、端末や配信業者間で規格が異なり、普及の障害になっていた。ソニーや楽天など電子書籍の配信大手は標準規格を採用する方針で、世界標準との一本化が進めば、利用者利便の向上が期待できる。一方で国内の出版ビジネスに大変革が起こり、書店などの淘汰(とうた)が進む可能性もある。

 ソニーなどが採用するのは、米電子書籍標準化団体「IDPF(国際デジタル出版フォーラム)」が10月中旬に決める「EPUB(イーパブ)3」と呼ばれる最新の規格だ。これに対応したコンテンツ(情報内容)が市場に出てくるのは年末以降とみられる。
(2011年9月24日14時35分 読売新聞)

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Japan, Literature, Translations

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