French deal with Google raises eyebrows
"Google has won" was the headline of the French newspaper La Tribune. And with that it responded to the deal between Google and the French Librarians Association "Bibliotheque National de France" (BNF).
The deal is controversial because for the last years former president of the Bibliotheque, Jean-Noel Jeaneney has been fighting Google trying to stop the "American imperialism". Supported by then French president Chirac they tried setting up a European project, Europeana, which never was a big success.
The fact that the deal now is made is purely a financial decision according to director of collections Denis Bruckmann. The libary needed €80 million "just for the works from 1870 to 1940" Bruckmann said, while the French government only wanted to invest 5 million euros a year. “We will not stop our own digitising programme, but if Google can enable us to go faster and farther, then why not?”
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