Media News - Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Even as a dispute over Google’s digital book project deepens in the United States, the company said Monday that it had reached an agreement in France that could bring back to life thousands of out-of-print works. The French Publishers Association and the Societe des Gens de Lettres, an authors’ group, dropped lawsuits in which they contended that Google’s book scanning in France violated copyright. Google agreed to set up a “framework” agreement under which publishers would be able to offer digital versions of their works for Google to sell. While sales of e-books have surged in the United States, they have been held back in France and much of Europe by disputes over rights and other issues. The deal is modeled on agreements that Google struck separately with two leading French publishers, Hachette Livre and La Martiniere. Under all of these agreements, the publishers retain control over many conditions of the book-scanning project, including which titles are made available. Google said France was now the only country where it had an industrywide book-scanning agreement in place to cover works that are out of print but still under copyright — a category that covers most of the world’s books. (New York Times)
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