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Google signs French book deal

Les livres sont libérés!

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Google and French publishing house Hachette have signed a deal to allow the search and ad giant to scan its books.

The deal allows Hachette to decide which of its out-of-print books Google can scan and sell, and gives it an undisclosed percentage of any revenue made. Hachette also gets a copy of the scanned file which it can sell as print-on-demand books or in other services.

Hachette also gets a veto over its books which Google has already scanned.

Hachette along with many other publishers has been at loggerheads and in court with Google over its book slurp.

Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre, said:

It has nothing to do with a waiver of our claims concerning Google’s past practices, and everything to do with a new and exciting foundation on which to build a fresh start based on fairness, even-handedness and the acknowledgement of our rights and of those of our authors. It enables us to break the deadlock in an honorable and positive way, while protecting the interests of all parties involved.

The Memorandum of Understanding lasts for six months to give both sides a chance to work out the details before signing a full contract.

Google's Book project still faces legal action from German and US publishers unwilling to hand Google what they see as an effective monopoly on digitised texts. ®

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