German Chancellor Angela Merkel got plenty of attention over the weekend for speaking out against the Google Book settlement
, making some odd claims that suggest she's not particularly familiar with what the debate is actually about:
"The German government has a clear position: copyrights have to be protected in the Internet," Merkel said, adding there are "considerable dangers" for copyright protection in the Internet.
"That's why we reject the scanning in of books without any copyright protection -- like Google is doing. The government places a lot of weight on this position on copyrights to protect writers in Germany."
But... what Google's doing is not about scanning books "without any copyright protection." That's a fabrication. Hell, even a German court
ruled that Google's book scanning project doesn't violate copyright
. You would think that Merkel would be familiar with rulings in her own country. Separately, it seems worth noting that at one point, Germany was heavily involved in Quearo, a European project that was originally designed
with Google's book scanning project. While Germany eventually dropped out of that program, it's difficult to claim that Merkel is an unbiased party in this matter, as her government at least initially supported a project to compete with Google in scanning books.