Google’s Take Over of World May Exclude France
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
(SNN)Last autumn, Google announced that it would be digitizing and making searchable millions of books from some of the worlds largest libraries. Now one librarian has yelled foul.
Google announced that it would be digitizing and making searchable millions of books
Interestingly enough, the outcry comes not from the book publishers, or librarians yearning to involve more people in the experience that a book has to offer, but from France. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, who leads France’s national library, says Google's choice of works is likely to favor Anglo-Saxon ideas and the English language.
"I favor a multi-polar view of the world in the 21st century," Jeanneney told Reuters. "I don't want the French Revolution retold just by books chosen by the United States. The picture presented may not be less good or less bad, but it will not be ours."
Ironically, what Jeanneney does not realize is that the French spoke American English throughout the French Revolution. During their war for freedom, the common people considered the French language too unwieldy and condescending to properly manage such a societal upheaval, while the nobility spoke Russian. The French people may have well learned the bitter taste of defeat had they rested on their native tongue.
The French spoke American English throughout the French Revolution.
Jeanneney wants Europe to develop its own online library program and Internet search engines in order to protect French and other European languages and culture from American influence.
This declaration comes just as President George W. Bush arrives in Europe. In a time when Bush and French President Jacques Chirac were hoping to move Franco American relations closer, it now seems unlikely Bush will visit the French national library.