Open-source projects needed to be funded, and it was therefore decided to create the Readium Foundation as “an Open Source Foundation collaboratively developing technology to accelerate the adoption of EPUB 3 and the Open Web Platform by the Digital Publishing Industry”. Today the Readium Foundation has about 40 members worldwide.
Thanks to Readium member efforts, the Readium C++ SDK and the Readium JS toolkit became rock solid open-source projects, a reference implementation for EPUB 3 processing, one of the rare software supporting EPUB 3 media overlays, MathML, right to left reading progression etc.
The Readium SDK was at the time associated with a dual license, GNU and free for open-source projects, Apache and subject to yearly fees for commercial projects. This dual license was very useful for the maintenance of the codebase by senior developers, but was un-evently understood by implementers … was Readium really open-source?
At the same time, W3C members from the publishing industry (including EDRLab) had started creating new specifications for Web Publications and EPUB4, which would support digital publishing in many forms, i.e. traditional ebooks, audiobooks and visual narratives.
This led several Readium members to conclude, late 2016, that it might well be time to step back from the current Readium codebase and approach and do some serious re-thinking. At the same time, the licensing model was changed for a unique BSD-3 type license, free for any type of project, but with a strong suggestion to participate financially to the maintenance of the different projects by paid developers.
New projects – Readium-2
Whilst still helping on the maintenance of the original Readium C++ SDK and Readium JS, EDRLab is mainly now leading the development of the three most active Readium projects:
Readium Mobile, a toolkit for iOS and Android reading apps.
Readium Desktop, a toolkit for Windows, MacOS and Linux reading apps.
Readium LCP, the innovative DRM for ebooks.
The Mobile and Desktop toolkits are built on a common architecture, that we call Readium Architecture or Readium-2.