Google has been forming many partnerships the last few months to digitize a wide array of ebooks. In June the company made an agreement with the British Library to scan over 250,000 ebooks and make them available for free. Today French publisher Hachette Livre and Google signed a contract, 2 months ahead of schedule to digitize close to 50,000 ebooks.
Google will be doing the dirty work by physically scanning all of the books, while Hachette Livre will determine which books will be available for free and what ones will have commercial purposes. Most of the books will be made available for free and entered into a database with the French National Library.
French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand welcomed the fact the accord was “based on recognition of the principles of authors’ rights, and guaranteed control by rights-holders over the digitization process and the sale price of works.” He added he attached “great importance to the conclusion of negotiations” between Google and other French publishers along the same lines.
Google currently is in talks with other French Publishers to scan their books as well, but a spokesman declined to mention any details.