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Germany/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.11 New technologies and digitalisation in the arts and culture

The digitalisation and the Internet open up new scope for creativity, brings people closer together – performing musicians and their listeners, for example – and tends to break down high brow hegemonic market power structures. In the online environment, intermediaries retain control of the mass market; only on the fringes of the market and in niches has it been possible for new forms of marketing to take hold that concede creative artists greater control over the exploitation of their work.

Globalisation trends in the culture industry are marked by interplay of globalisation and localisation. "Cultural globalisation" is furthered by economic globalisation. As the latter progressively extends the range of markets and the scope of entrepreneurial activity (to the point where corporations are active worldwide), the central cognitive activity associated with "cultural globalisation" manifests itself in a proliferation and intensification of comparative social processes. The Internet changes the cultural significance of near and far – building and strengthening cultural cohesion and a sense of belonging.

Since 2009 the Federal Commissioner for Culture and Media Affairs, together with two games associations, award a prize for an educationally valuable German Computer game (endowed with 385 000 EUR sponsored by the games associations).

In 2011, the computer games museum in Berlin opened a new permanent exhibition.

A betaversion of the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek) was launched in November 2012 under the address This portal is the basis to bring all German cultural and science organisations and their digital components together and integrate them in the European digital library Europeana. On 31st of March in 2013 the first full version was activated. The German Digital Library provides access to Germany's cultural heritage in digital form. This includes digital collections and indexing information from libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage offices and media libraries as well as universities and other research institutions. The contents of the German Digital Library include digital representations and derivatives of books, documents, paintings, statues, installations and monuments, all the way through to films and music. Currently it includes 18.3 million objects.

After during the 17th legislative period (2009-2013) an Enquete Commission on "Internet and digital society" was working, the German Parliament decided in February 2014 to install a German Parliaments Commission "Digital Agenda". This is the first time that the German Parliament have a permanent formal parliamentary body that focuses on current issues on net politics. In August 2014 the Federal Government presented a "Digital Agenda" which aims to enable all people to participate on the chances of the digitalisation and to set framework conditions for living, learning, working and economising in the digital world. The "Digital Agenda" provides guidelines and combines measures on 7 key areas, among them "V: education, science, research, culture and media". In March 2015 Dieter Gorny was appointed as representative for creativity and digital economy.

Chapter published: 17-07-2018

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