Google and a French authors group have reached an agreement, which means the country will be able to start selling electronic books, the New York Times reported today.
The agreement between Google and the Society of Men of Letters of France includes Google setting up a framework agreement that would allow publishers to offer digital versions of their works for Google to sell. This means France is the only country with an industry wide book-scanning agreement in place to cover works that are out of print but still under copyright, an issue that continues to plague U.S. authors.
Google is currently in a drawn-out copyright infringement lawsuit with U.S. content creators over the company's Google Books practices. A judge recently gave authors the go ahead to pursue the lawsuit against Google, after rejecting a $125 million settlement.
The French agreement respects copyright law in France, an important element to the authors, according to the Times.
The dispute stems from a 2006 issue over Google publishing snippets of books online, Reuters reported, and the agreement puts an end to an appeal procedure.