Google book scanning: Cultural theft or freedom of information?

Google book scanning: Cultural theft or freedom of information?
A proposed partnership between the French government and Google is stoking fears in France that the country's literary treasures will fall under commercial control of a U.S. technology company.

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Life is full of trade-offs, no?

I remember headlines in 2005 where the president of Bibliothèque nationale de France was concerned that the Google Books project would become the de facto digitized library, with a heavy bias to American and other English language material.

Global Information Ownership

So it looks like we are back to the question of who owns information, from what I could tell regarding this article Google is only scanning books that no longer fall under copyright restrictions. I also have to ask myself, isn't it a writer's greatest dream that their information will be used by as many people as possible? The French minister appears to live in a contracted world of yours and mine, I appreciated the librarian's open response, personally I don't care who gets the digital information out there I just want to be able to access it!

True only in Europe

"Google is only scanning books that no longer fall under copyright restrictions." True for their current European projects, apparently--but absolutely not true in the U.S. Otherwise, there would be no hotly-argued Google Books Proposed Settlement, since there would be nothing to settle.

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