The French government has moved to seize copyright on books published prior to 2001. From the UK blog Authors Rights:
"The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is to compile a freely accessible online database of all works published in France before 1 January 2001 that are not being commercially distributed by a publisher and are not currently published in print or digital form... Once a book has been listed in the database for more than six months, the right to authorize its reproduction and display in digital form will be transferred to a collective management organisation approved by the Minister of Culture."The French government has been struggling to control the internet. The Hadopi agency has complained about the workload of tracking pirates (18 million complaints; 10 users charged) and the three-strikes law was suspended in 2011 when the contractor administering the system failed to protect its data.
Four of my novels have been published in France -- Shirker, Electric, Departure Lounge and The Church of John Coltrane -- all after 2001, and all still in print (Coltrane is still French only). It will be interesting to see if the Ministry of Culture initiative reaches a compromise similar to the one made for the Google Library Project.
And Stanza has been crashing on my iPod. Stanza is the e-reader I use when I want to strain my eyes on my very battered iPod touch (iOS 4.3) reading Sherlock Holmes, Aristotle's Poetics, Edgar Allan Poe and other Gutenburg Project favourites. More importantly I used it to teach myself about e-publishing and re-issue some of my early short stories on Kindle.
After Amazon bought Lexcycle in 2009 there was chatter on the boards that they had killed the e-reader, one of the best for iOS. But it seems Stanza has been fixed -- if only for iOS 5. Another incentive to upgrade to an iPad, then. Or to just keep reading them on paper.
(Pictured: Alphaville. Still one of the best movies, ever.)