Friday, October 5, 2007

France Makes Peace with Google

La République des Livres reports that culture minister Christine Albanel has seen the light and is making peace with Google. Those who follow France's Internet policies will recall that Jean-Noël Jeanneney, historian and head of the BN, had been an outspoken critic of Google's effort to digitize millions of books and make them available on line. Jeanneney and the Chirac administration felt that Google's domination would inevitably submerge French culture on the Internet. Instead, they proposed independent French and European efforts to counter Google. But France had nothing comparable to Google's resources, and the effort bore little fruit, whereas Google Books has already become a valuable resource, as I, a regular user, can attest. Now France has approached the head of Google France with an eye to promoting a joint effort to ensure that French works are not neglected in Google's program. I think this is the right move.

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