Google Editions: Google signs ebook deal in France

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Google has reached an agreement with France’s largest publisher, Hachette Livre, to put a large portion of out-of-print books on its Google Editions ebook store, reports the New York Times.

In the past, Google has run into legal trouble over its intended use of copyrighted books for both its digital book store and its Google Book Search.

Google’s ebook store was first announced in December 2010. It allows consumers to browse and search Google’s enormous ebook library. Book purchases, which are tied to a Google account, can be read on any web enabled device.

The company will begin selling ebook versions of Hachette books by the end of the year while also introducing a French version of its digital bookstore, Google Editions.

The deal doesn’t end the company’s problems with other French publishers. As the NYT report notes, publishers including Albin Michel, Flammarion and Gallimard, are pursuing lawsuits against Google for illegally scanning books. However, both Google and Hachette Livre said they hoped the deal could serve as a model for others.

Hachette and Google reached a preliminary deal last year, which didn’t get much attention due to a large potential ebook agreement with U.S. publishers. The U.S. deal, which Google hasn’t been able to reach, also involves copyright-protected books that are no longer in print.