Google has reached an agreement with Hachette Livre to scan and sell out-of-print books. The publisher will control the content and pricing of books, points of contention that led Hachette to withdraw some its e-books from Amazon earlier this year, and take a hard stance with Apple and their iBooks releases.
29 countries claim French as its official language, with 250 million persons speaking French as their first or second language. An additional 500 million are estimated to parles les mots. Hachette also distributes a variety of Spanish titles.
The agreement represents another step forward by Google in its attempt to create a universal library, a project started in 2004, and is a major toehold for Google in the European market. In the U.S., Google is close to finalizing a settlement with the Authors’ Guild over copyright issues.
Publishers are scrambling to defend their content and pricing from Internet sales, as e-books’ market share grows rapidly. The deal lays the foundation for future releases and the control publishers are desparate to maintain.