France to oppose Google book scheme


Google's ambitious plans to scan millions of books and make them readable through its search engine suffered another blow on Monday after France said it would formally oppose the US settlement that Google needs to circumvent complex copyright issues. France's objections came as policymakers and interest groups met on Monday in Brussels to discuss the possibility of establishing a European framework that would give it permission to scan entire libraries in Europe. France's opposition to the US deal, on the grounds it will undermine French authors' rights, means it is far less likely the European Union will adapt its copyright system to suit Google's digitisation efforts. Google's efforts have stuttered in Europe because it cannot legally scan books that are still in copyright, which extends for 70 years after the death of a book's author. In the US, by contrast, a 2005 class-action lawsuit by authors and publishers has culminated in a $125m settlement paid by Google and a wide-ranging agreement on how to split any money made from the scheme.

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