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Feedbooks responds to yesterday’s Blio launch

September 29th, 2010 by · 6 Comments · software news

Calvin Reid over at Publisher’s Weekly posted a follow up article this morning where he contact KNFB (developer of Blio) and asked them to explain some of the details of yesterday’s debacle. One comment made by Peter Chapman, the KNFB spokesman, caught my eye. He said that Feedbooks knew it was being included in Blio months before the launch.

I checked with Hadrien Gardeur, founder and CEO of Feedbooks. According to Hadrien, they were not asked, they were _told_ by Mike Angelo that Feedbooks would be included. When Hadrien protested, he was ignored. I like the reasons he gave for objecting, so I copied his email to the end of this post.

This is actually worse, if you ask me. It’s one thing if you forget to ask, but asking and ignoring the “no”, well, in terms of business ethics I think it falls just short of piracy.

Okay, that was melodramatic, but what they did was still pretty bad. What do you think?

The email:

More precisely:
  • I’ve known for a while that KNFB were using our OPDS feeds for dedicated systems designed for print-disabled people ( Which I’m glad they’re doing.
  • Two months ago, Mike Angelo sent me an e-mail asking if we could add Blio to our premium partners on our ecosystem page ( because Feedbooks would be part of Blio. I replied that I wasn’t aware that Blio planned on including Feedbooks and that I was against it for several reasons (see below). He never replied.
At Feedbooks we allow reading systems to preload our catalog if it provides the following features:
  1. supports EPUB (not the case with Blio, they need to do a conversion)
  2. fully supports OPDS (once again, not the case with Blio, they don’t offer our full catalog, they only aggregate a few of our feeds and use our search feature)
  3. enable users to add OPDS catalogs (not the case with Blio)
  4. if the reading system also includes commercial content, we require that the reading system should also support payment in OPDS and ACS4 support in order to sell content
If a reading system doesn’t support all four (or the first three if it’s oriented towards free books like FBReader for example), they can still provide OPDS support and let users add manually our catalog.

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