Google Book Scan Plan A Threat To French Culture?

from the er...-scan-your-own-damn-books dept

The French government always seems to have a problem with the fact that us uncultured Americans use the internet. Years ago, they had to come out with a special French list of internet terms, out of a fear that French people would start using American terms to refer to things online (oh, the horror!). Now, it appears that the head of France’s national library is quite upset about Google’s plans to scan a large volume of books from various libraries. The fear is that Google, being an American company, will focus mainly on English-language books and American interpretations on events. The obvious answer to this, of course, is to tell him to go scan his own books. Why should he worry what Google is doing? If he’s afraid that the books they scan aren’t the books he wants, then he should organize an effort to solve that problem by getting the books he wants scanned himself.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Google Book Scan Plan A Threat To French Culture?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
DV Henkel-Wallace says:

The french are just different

Since M. Jeanneney has announced a plan to scan the French press (newspapers etc) I suspect his editorial was actually a publicity play for his work.
I am actually surprised to the extent that French people use specifically French terms for computer things in everyday conversation, given that (for example) the Germans just use English for computer terms as if they were ordinary German words. As I heard a Brazilian explain to me once, using English programming keywords and the like is no more culturally threatening (to him) that using Italian when talking about Music.
However be that as it may: there are a lot of specific laws in France around books. For example bookshops are forbidden to discount, as a way of protecting small shops (FNAC gets around it by having a “frequent shopper” card). The “droit d’auteur” can make it impossible to scan something without the permission of the author (or his/her heirs), which oddly enough doesn’t apply (yet) in the Anglo-Saxon world.

Michael Zimmer (user link) says:

There's more at play here...

While its easy to poke fun at what appears to be yet another Internet-related French identity crisis, there are large issues at play here, including the hegemony of the West in general, and the United States in particular, in the creation & distribution of content on the Internet, the pervasiveness of Google, and the general implications of the Googlization of more and more of the world’s information. More here

saklain mostak (user link) says:


We provide professional onsite services to business and corporations. Customers can expect full service and satisfaction with an affordable price. We repair most all brands, and we are a certified warranty repair center for Sharp, Brother, and more. In addition to any necessary repairs, each piece of equipment is cleaned, adjusted and thoroughly tested before delivery.Because your time is very important, we provide quick response times and strive to diagnose and resolve problems quickly and easily. We work with your schedule to get your equipment up and running quickly and reliably.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...