A few days ago Google signed an agreement with the publisher Hachette Livre under which tens of thousands of French-language books will be pulled out of ink-on-paper purgatory and provided with a digital afterlife.
Hachette and Google reached a preliminary deal last year, but it was overshadowed by a far broader agreement between Google and U.S. authors and publishers that would have settled longstanding litigation. Like the deal with Hachette, the U.S. agreement involved books that were out of print but still protected by copyright, a category that accounts for the vast majority of the world’s books.
This is a deal betwen Google and one single French publishing group about it's own titles..French copyright law gives writers copyright control for considerably longer periods than in most of the rest of the world, and has some unusual variants ( such as items written by those who were in the French military and served in WW1 or WW2 have additional copyright protection periods added onto the usual French ones ) ..Hachette can be expected to be sued by both some of their own authors and some of their authors descendants and other publishers ( BTW here publishers are actually called "editeurs"..just to add to any confusion..:) over this..
To compare ( as the NYT .. doubtless with the help of Google's PR machine, has done ) this with Google's attempt at a US "deal" ..is to compare apples and giraffes ..