1432977 story Open eBook Forum Courts Controversy Over Formats 184 Posted by simoniker on Monday December 22, 2003 @03:15PM from the bookworm-has-a-headache dept. Brad Rigby writes "TeleRead's David Rothman is calling for [1, 2] the replacement of the Open eBook Forum by "an honest trade association" and a related standards body to create an open standards ebook format at the consumer-level. This will benefit publishers, distributors and retailers, librarians, the open-source community, and most importantly book readers. Largely because of the proprietary format wars, ebooks have flopped commercially, with only an estimated ten million dollars in sales in 2003. In addition, OeBF is being held hostage by its Gold Sponsors, including Microsoft, Adobe, and Palm Digital, companies with proprietary, incompatible ebook format solutions. And to make matters worse, OeBF's president, Steve Potash, runs OverDrive, a company profiting from this "Tower of eBabel", which, according to David, is an obvious conflict of interest and the reason why OeBF is no longer living up to the promise of a standard consumer ebook format. Interesting detail: The OeBF is so focused on promoting its Gold Sponsors that it has yet to speak out against European VATs that will tax e-books but not p-books."