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French government to digitize out-of-print 20th century works, plans ebook initiative

Joseph Volpe, @jrvolpe
March 6, 2012
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It's a case of having one's cake and eating it, too. Or, in this instance, digitizing the works of others and reselling them online for a 40 percent cut. According to Le Temps, a controversial new law recently passed by the French government will see out-of-print books from the 20th century converted into ebook format for preservation and an eventual commercial release. The effort, backed by a 30 million Euro subsidy and curated by the Bibliothèque nationale, encompasses some 500,000 to 700,000 books and has caused a number of the country's writers to raise their baguettes and pens in protest. Indeed, the legislation dives into murky IP territory, granting rights holders a measly six month window to opt-out of the initiative. It's safe to say, La France is taking a page directly out of Google's book. We just hope they read the end to that particular story.

[Image credit via Britannica.com]



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