In the battle for the eBook market, Google, Amazon, and Apple may have some new competition from the Internet Archive: BookServer .
According to a demonstration of the new platform, this initiative offers a wide range of features:
- Bookserver provides access to a variety of open formats. In particular, it uses ePub. 1.6 million books are available in the ePub format, making them accessible via Stanza on the iPhone, Sony eReaders, and many other reading devices. ePub will reflow text if the font changes, providing better adaptation to different devices. (Of course, this raises interesting issues for scholarly citation, where reference to page number would no longer make sense.)
- BookServer has a database of Mobi files, which can be downloaded to a Kindle .
- These books are also available on the Daisy format, which allows for the creation of braille and text-to-audio copies.
- Other media include 100,000 hours of television recordings, 400,000 music recordings and 15 billion archived web pages.
- Bookserver allows iPhone users to purchase books (via Stanza) directly from the publisher, not from Stanza.
- Libraries can loan out an eBook in a finite number of copies, depending on how many copies of the book that library has purchased. This point resolves many of the legal copyright issues that arose from the easy duplication of electronic material available to “borrow.”