GBS: Have the French Found a Google Alternative?


Via ResourceShelf, comes an AP story, French Digital-Books Upstart Challenges Google:

France’s efforts to digitize its culture, from Marcel Proust’s manuscripts to the first films of the legendary Lumiere brothers, long have been bogged down by the country’s reluctance to rely on help from American internet giant Google.

A new startup launched Thursday says it may be the answer.

The consortium of French technology companies and government-backed IT research labs says it can provide the know-how needed by Europe’s libraries, universities, publishers and others to scan, catalog and deliver to end users the contents of their archives — better than Google can.

The eight-member consortium will be named Polinum, “a French acronym that stands for ‘Operating Platform for Digital Books.’” I would have prefered Polonius or Polonium, myself.


Mr. Grimmelmann, thank you for keeping everyone up to date on issues related to Google Books through your blog.

Does anyone know of an online source for the opinion in the La Martiniere case, which was decided 12/18? I’m writing about Google Books and digital libraries under European laws and need to get a hold of that decision, if possible. I’ve located a pdf form that I can submit to the court and, in theory, I will receive a copy, but I’m guessing that will probably take some time.

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