While French President Sarkozy didn't namecheck Google directly, he more than alluded to them, claiming that their aim of scanning out of copyright books and putting them online will damage France's own book digitisation plan.
Speaking at an event yesterday about France's plans to place the nation's books online, he said:
"We won't let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is"
It's not the first time Google's been attacked over its Books scheme, with the controversy coming to a head in October when Sergey Brin was forced to defend Google in a column in the New York Times.
Writing for the New York Times, Brin said:
"This agreement aims to make millions of out-of-print but in-copyright books available either for a fee or for free with ad support, with the majority of the revenue flowing back to the rights holders, be they authors or publishers"
With controversy surrounding the Google Books plan for over a year now, I have a feeling this isn't the last of it, especially now that the hot-headed French President has weighed in. [Reuters]
Image credit: Downing Street