Google not spoiling for war with French

A top Google executive said on Thursday that his company wasn't interested in a showdown with France over the company's plans to digitize millions of books into its Web search.

French officials have complained that Google's planned move would only accelerate the domination of the English language to the detriment of other languages and cultures. But Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president of product development at Google, said the company was open to working with non-American institutions to digitize content for later use by Web search.

"We'd very much welcome collaborating with any entity whose goal is to bring a lot of the world's knowledge online," said Rosenberg, speaking at a daylong press briefing at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

Rosenberg, who started his presentation carrying a "Star Wars" light saber--the company's handing out free passes to the movie to all employees today-–was asked by a French reporter whether he was surprised that some critics have characterized Google as "the Evil Empire."

"Yoda also said something about great warriors," Rosenberg countered. "He said wars don't make one great. We're not out for a war...weÂ’d more than welcome working with the French or anyone else who has large bodies of information that they want to bring online.

 

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