Even as a dispute over Google’s digital book project deepens in the United States, the Internet company said Monday that it had reached an agreement in France that could bring back to life thousands of out-of-print works.
The French Publishers’ Association and the Société des Gens de Lettres, an authors’ group, dropped lawsuits in which they contended that Google’s book-scanning here violated copyright. Google agreed to set up a “framework” agreement under which publishers would be able to offer digital versions of their works for Google to sell.
“Our hope is that these path-breaking partnerships will help jump-start the emerging French electronic book market,” said Philippe Colombet, head of Google Books France. While ebook sales have surged in the United States, they have been held back in France, and across much of Europe, by disputes over rights and other issues.