French President to launch 'counter-offensive' on digital culture
23 Match, 2005
French President Jacques Chirac has promised to launch a new 'counter-offensive' against American cultural domination, enlisting the support of the British, German and Spanish governments in a multimillion euro bid to put the whole of European literature online.
The president was reacting last week to news that the American search-engine provider Google is to offer access to some 15 million books and documents currently housed in five of the most prestigious libraries in the English-speaking world. The realisation that the "Anglo-Saxons" were on the verge of a major breakthrough toward the dream of a universal library seriously rattled the cultural establishment in Paris, raising again the fear that French language and ideas will one day be reduced to a quaint regional peculiarity.
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