BRUSSELS, Sept 7 The French government plans to
file its objections to Google Inc's (GOOG.O) plan to digitize
millions of books in a New York court this week, a French
Culture Ministry official said on Monday.
"France will send its observations to the U.S. court today
or tomorrow," Nicolas Georges, director for books and libraries
at the French Culture Ministry, told Reuters on the sidelines of
a European Commission hearing on Google's deal with U.S. authors
and publisher groups struck earlier this year.
France is concerned about European authors' rights, Georges
"There are lots of European works in Google's database.
Google can digitalise these works without the permission of
European authors," he said.
He cited worries over the copyrights of orphan works, which
are books or other materials that are still covered by U.S.
copyright law, but it is not clear who owns the rights to them.
"Google will have a monopoly digitalising European orphan
works without permission," Georges said.
He said there were also issues of which works would be
"Google has the power to determine which work will be in its
database or not. For example, some works that are not commercial
may be removed by Google," he said.
Germany last week filed its arguments with the Manhattan
federal court, which will hold a hearing to approve the
settlement on Oct. 7.
Germany is opposing the deal, saying that it would violate
German copyright law and the country's privacy protections for
Google defended the book deal on Monday at the Commission
hearing, saying it stemmed in part from the group's ambition to
allow Web surfers to find out-of-print books. [ID:nL7562968]
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Karen Foster)