njondet writes: "It now seems long gone are the days when France saw Google as an instrument of American cultural imperialism which needed to be challenged by European governments. Earlier this month, the French Culture Minister officially asked Google for recommendations on how to promote the online presence of French culture . This constitutes a remarkable change of heart for France which, under the Chirac presidency, had planned the launch of European projects, such as the Quaero search engine, in order to challenge Google's technological dominance and protect France's cultural independence in the digital world. France now appears to consider that its culture and Google can thrive together. This u-turn can be explained by the pragmatic realization that anti-Google projects would fail as they have done in the past. A realization that France was all the more willing to make under its new president, Nicolas Sarkozy, a self-proclaimed pro-American eager to break with the policies of Chirac, his predecessor, former mentor and bitter rival. The reconciliation with the Californian company was also assisted by the reassurances given by Google to the Culture minister that its new filtering technology for YouTube would help secure the copyrights, and thus the revenues and future, of the French cultural industry."
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