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Google turns up the heat in French library battle

Representatives of Google started a tour of the press in March to put forward the ‘Google Print’ plan – the project to digitally capture the world’s libraries online, reports the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ in its online edition.

The Google print project aims to digitise over 15 million books and 4.5 billion pages of text from American and British libraries – and then to move on to the rest of the world.

On wednesday morning last, the tour reached France with the Director General of Google France meeting with 130 representatives of the French press. He put forward a ‘contract’ for the library project which it is aimed to have in place by September. It won’t be possible, for instance, for a user to download the entire contents of a book and, in fact, the intention is for just 20% of each book to be online comprising table of contents, summaries, notes on the author, etc. Google will only digitise the whole work if the author has given permission.

It was also revealed at the press conference that although users will be able to access the information for free, book authors will receive a share of the revenue generated by advertising as a result.

One issue, reports Le Figaro, is that the contract proposed will be American and does not protect intellectual property rights in the same way as a French contract. Another French fear is that the library system itself in France will be threatened by the project.

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Andy Atkins-Kruger

CEO at Webcertain
Andy is the CEO of Webcertain. He is a trained linguist with 20 years of experience in international marketing, having helped major brand leaders with their advertising and public relations projects on five continents. Webcertain has been operating multilingual search marketing campaigns for over 15 years and is one of few agencies which only deal with international campaigns; the company doesn't deal in single market projects. Andy speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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