[A2k] Google books project in France: Hachette

Manon Ress manon.ress at keionline.org
Mon Aug 8 09:13:46 PDT 2011

August 8, 2011 11:59am EST

In France, Google Secures First Google Books Deal
By Leslie Horn

Google Books

Although talks have stalled in the U.S., Google has inked the first
deal for its Google Books project in France. French publisher Hachette
Livre has agreed to let Google convert tens of thousands of books,
both in and out of print, to e-books.

The New York Times reports that the deal will allow Google to scan and
digitize thousands of French-language books that were previously
exclusive to print. Google will also introduce a French version of its
e-book store, Google Editions. The agreement allows Hachette to
maintain control of which books Google is allowed to scan and sell.

Google may have overcome a hurdle by securing France's largest
publisher, which accounts for a quarter of the market, the Times says,
but Google has faced resistance from several other publishers in the
country. Three publishers, Albin Michel, Flammarion, and Gallimard,
plan to sue Google for scanning its books without permission. Another
publisher, La Martinière has already won a lawsuit against Google for
similar reasons, and it's possible that other French publishers will
take legal action against the company.

But Google hopes that the deal with Hachette is the first of many for
Google Books, in France and beyond.

"We would love to implement similar arrangements with other French
publishers, and it's something that we have in mind as we talk to
other partners," Simon Morrison, Google's London-based copyright
policy and communications manager, told the Times.

In the U.S., Google has been working to reach an agreement since 2005.
Last month, New York Judge Denny Chin blocked a Google Books deal,
giving Google until September 15 to come up with a revised plan that
is "fair" to both authors and publishers. One of the problems with
Google's proposed agreement is that it lets the company digitize any
out-of-print books, unless the owner of the copyright opts out.
According to the Times, the judge has asked that Google create an
opt-in plan, however Google has been opposed to this kind of model in
the past.

Hachette said it will make these e-books available to the Bibliothèque
Nationale de France as well as other libraries to "contribute to the
advancement of French culture."

For more from Leslie, follow her on Twitter @LesHorn.

Manon Anne Ress
Knowledge Ecology International
1621 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20009 USA
manon.ress at keionline.org

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