I must say I like the absence of inevitability the French demonstrate towards the mega-Google.

Their ‘keep your hands off our culture’ approach, (despite Euro Disney and the laughable but well-patronised McDonalds and Disney store on the Champs Elysees) is refreshing and worthwhile.

The hopeless shrug of the shoulders so many meet Google’s apparent dominance with is not the only logical response… as the following TWO recent blows for ‘freedom’ or ‘independence’ illustrate…

Viva la France!

Paris Court Convicts Google in Copyright Case


PARIS—A French court found Google Inc. guilty of copyright infringement for scanning books and publishing extracts online without a French publisher’s consent, a ruling that could hinder the U.S search company’s ongoing drive to create a giant global online library.

In a Friday ruling that Google said it would appeal, the court ordered the U.S. company to pay €300,000 ($501,000) to French publisher La Martinière and to remove online extracts of the publisher’s books.

French tech upstart challenges Google

By Greg Keller NZ Herald
12:46 PM Friday Dec 18, 2009

PARIS – France’s efforts to digitise 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 yesterday 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, catalogue and deliver to end users the contents of their archives – better than Google can.