It appears as though Google has upset the French, at least a couple of them. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, the director of the French National Library, has a few “issues” with the new project, Google Print. He said he worries the project could prove dangerous (his description, not mine) if the American search site goes it alone:
“Multilateralism we feel in diplomacy and in culture is always better than the domination of only one pole, one power,” he said. “The choice of the books to be digitized will be impregnated by the Anglo-Saxon atmosphere.”
[DELETED: Snarky comment about impregnating any French citizens and the possible improvement of the World body] Poor baby, just because Google Print plans to put books online from five prestigious American and British universities his culottes are in a bunch. And why is this a stinking pile of poo? Jean-Noel [Don’t you love those bi-sexual French names?] is worried about a literary invasion by the Anglo-Saxons yet he looks to the EU for a solution, he wants Europe to launch its own Google-like project.
“I don’t want a French answer, I want a European answer,” he said. “I want a collaboration of the main libraries, universities and cultural establishments all over Europe.”
What happened to “domination of only one pole, one power?” Guess that only applies to us evil Anglo-Saxons. It would also seem Jean-Noel has forgotten history. What happens if an EU centric version of “Google Print” places a non-French spin on the French Revolution? What happens if the writtings and thoughts of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor or Frederick William II of Prussia were included, or “impregnated” as Jean-Noel puts it? I see this as a potential problem that Jeanneney, and of course Jacques “sure not to act” Chirac, fails to recognize.
Mr Jeanneney’s call has struck a chord with French President Jacques Chirac. The French leader held a meeting with the National Library director and agreed that France should lead a European project similar to Google’s and is due to discuss the plan with EU ministers in May.
Me thinls the entire thing stinks more than a St. Bernard’s very large “presents” left on your lawn. If the French spent more time fixing their internal problems and less about Google or what they feel is American cultural hegemony we would all be better off.
Cross posted On the Third Hand