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Google Reaches Deal With France’s Biggest Publisher

Former critic becomes ally under big book-scanning agreement

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Following a significant period of inactivity (brought on by outright hostility), Google Books has made a breakthrough.  France’s largest publisher has agreed to an arrangement that’ll allow Google Books to scan many of its out-of-print works.

The last time we heard about Hachette Livre and Google was probably when Hachette objected to the Google Books Settlement about a year ago.  Also, we should note that a French court convicted Google of copyright violations a few months later.  This announcement comes as a definite surprise, then.

Still, the basic deal is in place.  Max Colchester reported this afternoon, "Under the agreement, which will be finalized in the coming months, Hachette Livre can dictate which out-of-print books it wants Google to scan and the price at which they are sold.  Google is then free to sell the electronic book under the condition that it shares the revenues with Hachette Livre, a unit of Lagardere SCA."

The arrangement is supposed to involve thousands of books, too, not just a handful for which Hachette has no use.

As a result, Dan Clancy, the director of Google Books, characterized the whole thing as "a big break-through in terms of developing a framework that will work more generally in Europe.  It reasserts the control of the publisher . . . while making the books accessible to users," he told Colchester.

It should be interesting to see if Google’s able to press this advantage and seal deals with any other publishers.

Google Reaches Deal With France’s Biggest Publisher
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  • http://www.enerlix.com/ Charles Clay

    Google definitely achieve the long lasting relation with France’s publisher. Once Google get in to France definitely it is a really big break through to develop it’s frame work throughout the Europe. Best Wishes!

  • http://kindlenookorsony.wordpress.com eReaders lover

    I think it was about time publishers realise that printed books are anachronisms. I love touching books with my hands and taking them everywhere with me, but let’s face it – they are part of our pasts! Who will want to go on vacation with 3 heavy books, when all you can carry is a small eReader keeping your entire book collection in its memory. Sure, paper is nice and romantic and intimate. But time is different now. And since eReaders are on the rise these days and various articles try to convince us that this holiday season they will be a hit, it’s normal to expect the same to happen with digital books. Why would you buy eReader if you can’t read your favorite books on it?
    So, the deal between Google and publishers, French publishers in particular, but also German publishers soon, hopefully, was expected. And it seems fair if I understand it correctly. Although I don’t understand why the publishers will choose which book Google to scan – after all they will get money from every book. Maybe the idea is to introduce a delay for new books so that they have chance on paper first…