Hachette Livre and Google sign a memorandum of understanding establishing a contractual framework for the scanning of french out-of-print works controlled by Hachette Livre

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Lagardère Publishing

Paris, November 17, 2010

Hachette Livre and Google pledge to make the same key terms available to all French publishers

Google and Hachette Livre today signed a memorandum of understanding that defines the terms for Google to scan Hachette Livre’s French language books. The proposed agreement applies to the many thousands of works under French copyright controlled by Hachette Livre and which are commercially unavailable. The vast majority of all books ever published are commercially unavailable.
Both parties see this as an opportunity to breathe new life into Hachette Livre’s dormant out of print works for the benefit of authors, academics, researchers and other readers. Google and Hachette Livre agree that the basic terms and conditions will be made available to all French publishers.

The agreement provides the following to Hachette :

  • Control over the scanning of its books. Hachette will determine which works it wants Google to scan. Works deemed by Hachette Livre suitable for scanning can either be made available as ebooks for electronic purchase through Google Books or used for other commercial applications such as print on demand (POD). Google and Hachette Livre will work together and share information pertaining to the commercial availability or unavailability of Hachette Livre works. Books not suitable for scanning will be removed from Google services. This also applies to works already scanned by Google.
  • New business opportunities. This memorandum of understanding is designed to give access to currently unavailable works while providing new revenues to their authors and publishers. Hachette Livre will obtain copies of the scans in order to offer works in print on demand (POD) and other services. Importantly, French booksellers will be able to sell electronically these works.
  • In practice, all works deemed suitable for scanning will fall into one of the two following categories:
    a) Hachette Livre authorizes the scanning and electronic distribution of the work through various channels, including Google Editions.
    b) Hachette Livre authorizes the scanning of the work by Google for search and promotion while retaining a file for its own non commercial uses.

  • Enhanced visibility of its authors and their works in public digital libraries. Hachette Livre intends to make digital copies of scanned works available to the databases of public institutions such as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, thus contributing to the advancement of French culture.


“I am especially happy to announce this agreement with Google. It has nothing to do with a waiver of our claims concerning Google’s past practices, and everything to do with a new and exciting foundation on which to build a fresh start based on fairness, even-handedness and the acknowledgement of our rights and of those of our authors,”
said Arnaud Nourry, Chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre. “It enables us to break the deadlock in an honorable and positive way, while protecting the interests of all parties involved, including those of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, who will at long last have access to works scanned by Google.”

“Today’s announcement represents a great step for French authors, Google, Hachette and above all, French readers,” said David Drummond, Google Senior Vice President. “It demonstrates our commitment to preserving and spreading French culture. This is a win-win deal for Google and the French publishing industry. French authors will get new opportunities to sell their books and readers throughout the world will gain access to exciting, hard-to-find French-language books.”

This memorandum of understanding opens a six-month period of fine tuning at the conclusion of which Google and Hachette Livre will hopefully be in a position to sign a binding agreement.

Press Contacts

Hachette Livre : Myriam Simonneaux - msimonneaux@hachette-livre.fr - +33 1 43 92 34 20

Google France : Anne-Gabrielle Dauba Pantanacce - presse-fr@google.com - +33 1 42 68 53 66

For International Press : Bill Echikson - bechikson@google.com - +32 475 66 97 36

About Hachette Livre

Hachette Livre, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lagardère SCA, is the world's second largest trade book publisher with sales of € 2,273 million. It is # 1 in France, # 1 in the UK, #2 in Spain and # 5 in the USA. It publishes over 17,000 new titles a year under more than one hundred different imprints in a dozen languages, but mainly in French, English and Spanish. It covers all segments of trade publishing : General fiction and non-fiction, mass market pocket books, books for young readers, illustrated books, travel guides, school books, as well as partworks. Its headquarters are in Paris, France.

About Google Books
Google Books was launched in 2004, and today has scanned more than 15 million books from more than 35,000 publishers and 40 libraries around the world. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com and books.google.com .

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