France oppose Google’s scheme…

..and it is a dirty shame.

In today’s FT

Google’s ambitious plans to scan millions of books and make them readable through its search engine suffered another blow on Monday after France said it would formally oppose the US settlement that Google needs to circumvent complex copyright issues.

France tends to take pride of being a civilized place, the country of Enlightenments, and what not. How can these claims be adequated with this line of policy designed to keep knowledge behind heavy closed and barricaded doors? How can the world learn about Sartre, Camus and Braudel if the government defends the interest of a handful of heirs and fatcat publishers?

Sorry for this note, not very in line with the rest of the blog, but it really drives me crazy.

Vive Google! A bas Sarko!

5 Responses to France oppose Google’s scheme…

  1. Sarah Couto says:

    Why would the world want to learn about Sartre or Camus?

  2. Ben says:

    Well that’s an altogether different ball game.

  3. Emil says:

    France was doing it a lot sooner than Google (at least since 1999), doing it better (better page image quality, full text format when available, better tools, much more liberal licence for public domain books).

    I am not a great lover of France, but this they did really well.

    Google does not care a bit about “scan millions of books and make them readable through its search engine”: their book info is terribly crippled, the quality of the page images is horrendous and thousands of books more than one hundred years old are not available except as title if there is any recent print version by any publisher … does not matter that the publisher no longer stocks the title …

  4. Ben says:

    yeah, BUT I don’tknow if you’ve ever used Gallica on line but it is a small nightmare. FInding any given book requires some sort of genius. Besides, they have the specialty only a scan part of the books they dispaly. Entire pages are missing and very often for dictionaries or encyclopedias (Diderot’s for instance) they’ve only put on line some of the volumes which is really not practical.

    Besides, being a French taxpayer, I don’t mind if a private company bears the costs of the entreprise rather than me.

    Finally, in as much as I have a blind faith in Monsieur Sarko, for some reason, I don’t like having ALL my sources of information coming from the state (which owns tv channels,and radios, subsidises newspaper, teach the children at school and decides of the curricula in the universities, etc.).

  5. Emil says:

    I am using Gallica since it was slow as molasses and heavy as … yahoo mail, but until came online with books, they had no competition. Even now they give better metadata, full text search, some tools to organize what you found …

    Google I find very frustrating … lots of books that are more that 150 years old are not in the “public domain” list, books that were in the public domain list once were withdrawn (I know a couple of cases of books published by Harpers around 1900 that were online then withdrawn, lucky me I managed to download them in time … ), and the quality of the images is horrendous … half of a page missing, fingers over text etc.

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