German chancellor Merkel steps up against Google

Thu 15 October 2009 12:59, Bas van den Beld

German chancellor Merkel steps up against Google

We knew that the Germans and Google are not the best of friends at the moment. Especially the Google Book Settlement causes some fraction, with the Germans actually suing the big search company.

It is a little unexpected however that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel would step into the battle. In her weekly video podcast she stepped up against Google.

The vodcast this week (which was recorded last Saturday) was taped in a library and focused on the Frankfurt Book Fair which started this week.

In her video she said the German government wants to protect its authors. That doesn't strike with what Google is doing. Google is "just scanning books without any regard to copyright law," and "the Internet should not be exempt from copyright laws," she says. According to Merkel Google can't "just go around scanning books".

Merkel doesn't believe that e-books will replace traditional books. But she does believe new technologies like audio books have changed the book market.

You can listen to Merkels' podcast here or look at the video on the chancellor's website.

Google has for now put the book settlement on hold. They are looking into different ways of setting up the settlement.


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