Philippe Règnier mentioned a controversy between the French national library and Google’s scheme to put books online. “You’ve probably heard about it,” he said, and the French people all made sounds of recognition, but I hadn’t heard of it at all. So I googled it, of course, and found this:

France’s national library has raised a “war cry” over plans by Google to put books from some of the world’s great libraries on the internet and wants to ensure the project does not lead to a domination of American ideas.

Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who heads France’s national library and is a noted historian, says Google’s choice of works is likely to favour Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language.

He wants the European Union to balance this with its own program and its own internet search engines.

I can’t imagine a EU search engine is the solution to this – on the contrary, you’d think that making sure that googlers find French literature as well as Anglo-American literature would be wise. This newspaper article is from February, so presumably more has happened since, but my mulittasking listening to the presentation about the digital Wittgenstein archives is becoming strained so back to listening fulltime now.

1 Comment

  1. Martin Lessard

    May I give my 2-cents?…

    Jean-Noel Jeanneney, head of the French National Library, wants to “make the collections of the great libraries in France and Europe more widely and more rapidly accessible on the Internet.”

    Access would be through a “European search engine.”

    I guess this has to be understood as “Europeen Google” not as “another web tool”. This “Europeen Google” as an institution would “scan” works picked by Europeen not by American. And this would than be distributed on Internate throught an access portal, which may have the name “European search engine.” I hope at least the portal will be open for indexation by other search engine, including Google…

    If I have it right, this would make more sense as it will mean Europe would produce content for Internet and not another tool for Internet…

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