France opposes Google digital books deal

9th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

France’s culture ministry is against Google’s plans to create the world's largest digital library and online bookstore, arguing that the deal would undermine French authors’ rights.

Paris – France said Tuesday it was opposed to Google's plans to digitise and sell millions of books online because it was a "threat to cultural diversity."

The project does not conform to either "intellectual property law or to competition law and constitutes a threat to cultural diversity," the culture ministry said.

The ministry made the comments in a submission to a New York court that is due to rule next month on the legality of Google's plans. The submission argued that the deal would undermine French authors' rights.

Google needs the approval of a US District Court judge, who is to hold a "fairness hearing" in New York on 7 October, before it can go ahead with its plans to create the world's largest digital library and online bookstore.

The Internet giant said Monday it would remove all books still on sale in Europe from a US online market offering millions of titles that are out of print in the United States.

The concession to European publishers came amid the controversial plans that opponents say represent a "big land grab" of the world's stock of up to nine million out-of-print and out-of-copyright books.

Google, which counts some three million titles potentially in play outside the United States, must instead negotiate agreements with European publishers and authors.

AFP / Expatica

0 Comments To This Article