On October 2, 2007, the French ministry of culture and communication released a press release entitled “Christine Albanel wishes to see a stronger Internet presence for French cultural heritage.”
The release followed a discussion between Ms. Albanel, French minister of culture and communications, and Mats Carduner, president of Google France. It reports that “the Minister expressed her intention to speed up the timetable for its project of a ‘digital French cultural heritage’ and asked Google, the world leader in search engine technology, for suggestions and recommendations on how to go about raising the Internet profile of French cultural heritage.”
In its release, the ministry of culture et communication points out that the project of digitizing France’s cultural heritage in the interest of improved conservation, distribution, and accessibility has been underway for thirty years. The “Collections” portal of its website at www.culture.fr, which opened on August 1, 2007, allows access to 1.5 million digitized documents. The release states that “the establishment of this digital heritage will be one of the most important cultural policy issues in the upcoming years.”
Ms. Albanel took advantage of her meeting with Mr. Carduner to affirm “the French government’s commitment to copyright protection on the Internet.” The president of Google France reportedly presented Ms. Albanel with tools developed on the YouTube video sharing platform for detecting unauthorized content and allowing copyright holders to protect their work.