I just spoke with ESBN founder Chris Matthieu. Due, in part, to a letter he received from R.R. Bowker, the exclusive US source for ISBN numbers, citing potential trademark infringements, Matthieu has decided to change the name of his service from ESBN, or Electronic Standard Book Number, to Numly. The site has also moved and can now be found at Numly.com.
For their part, ESBN numbers themselves are now known as Electronic Serial Numbers (ESNs) both to avoid confusion with ISBNs and to better represent their function.
According to Matthieu, all current ESBN links, numbers and plugins should work properly. All verification links are still valid and all programs, including the Firefox extension, Mac Widget and Wordpress plugin, will continue to function normally. However, new versions of these applications will likely be coming out in the coming weeks to avoid any potential future problems.
In the end, there should be no immediate change for users of the old ESBN system beyond the icon graphic morphing to an orange “N”.
More on this story as it develops.