Google book scanning: Cultural theft or freedom of information?

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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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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.

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!

"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.