France does it on its own, but might hire Google

Tue 15 December 2009 19:45, Bas van den Beld

France does it on its own, but might hire Google

There was a period in 2009 in which there was a lot of rumor about the digitizing of books by Google. Especially the European countries opposed to the fact that Google was touching their literal history.

Now France has decided enough is enough. In stead of making a deal with Google they decided to do it themselves. French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to reserve over 750 million euros for scanning of French literary works, audiovisual archives and historical documents. Just like French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand proposed a couple of weeks ago.

With this move the French want to keep control over their cultural heritage. But it does step passed the French National Library who was in talks with Google about the digitization of their works.

Sarkozy clearly was not a fan of this possible deal. Last week he said:

“We won’t let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is,”

However, Google is not out of the picture yet. The reserved money will be spent on a partnership with a company which can do the digitization for the French. Google might very well be one of these partners.

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