German Bundestag: Motion to improve remuneration framework for game authors

For years, the Spiele-Autoren-Zunft (SAZ) has been working to have analog games included in the collection catalog of the German National Library. The goal is to put the game authors' legal claim to the library royalties into practice and to give the cultural asset game its deserved official recognition. This is also demanded by the German Cultural Council. Today, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) group in the German Bundestag has submitted a motion to this theme.

The text of the motion points out the often underestimated social relevance of analog games in particular. This does not correspond to the day-to-day use of games in society and their market significance. Like books, games are part of a holistic cultural mission and their accessibility in public libraries enables the entire population to participate in this cultural and educational treasure. However, the creators of the games, the game authors, are largely excluded from the remuneration of the loan through the library royalty due to the lack of a comprehensive database.

In the FDP's motion, clear demands are therefore made for a uniform database for games as well, in order to guarantee the legal claim of game authors under § 27 UrhG (German law about intellectual properties). To this end, the legal collection guidelines and, if necessary, the budget must be adjusted accordingly.

The importance of analog games was also underlined last week by German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she awarded the "Game Café of Generations" in the 16th Startsocial competition, saying: "Board games are much more than just a pastime. A wonderful initiative ties in with the fact that playing together also strengthens social cohesion". Last year, the world's largest public fair SPIEL was held live in Essen (Germany); over 200,000 visitors filled the fair halls while playing together. This year's was a fantastic alternative due to the situation and, with over 400 exhibitors from all over the world, attracted a great deal of attention in the media and among the 148,000 visitors: more than one million hits on the live streams. The 21% increase in turnover that the German games industry recorded in the first three quarters of this year also fits in with this.

The time has come to recognize the social relevance of analog gaming as a cultural asset, as an educational medium and as a socially integrative factor with practical consequences. This also includes the implementation of the legal claim to the library royalty: e.g. by including games in the collection catalog of the German National Library. In addition, the focus should be placed on the funding of collection and research institutions, the use of not only digital games within the framework of the educational plans of the states and within the framework of the integration plans of the federal and state governments.

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