Music industry boss joins German government

Music industry boss joins German government


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2015

Dieter Gorny, head of the Deutsche Musikrat, has been named head of digital at the Federal Ministry of Economy. This would be a wakeup call for a country that blocks more music than it shares.

Gorny, 61, is a former orchestral player who led Essen’s successful bid to become a culture capital.


Professor Dieter Gorny ist Träger der Moritz Fiege-Bierkutschermütze 2011.


  • william osborne says:

    There are simple ways to circumvent Germany’s GEMA Wall (the new Berlin Wall of Music) though they continue to develop more complete methods of locking the international music world out of the country’s borders. There is much to criticize in companies like Microsoft, Facebook, iTunes, Pandora, Google, and Amazon, but I notice that it is not only the bad practices of these firms, or the desire to protect musicians, that shape the German view, but also xenophobia and anti-Americanism.

    Part of this goes back to Germany’s state monopoly of telephone service that only ended in 1989. Even something as simple as non-government produced answering machines were illegal. The service was poor and incredibly expensive, but they enforced the monopoly by using jacks and other connectors that were only produced in Germany. A black market of adapters and foreign telephone devices began to flourish.

    Germany was thus late to develop its Internet infrastructure and had much to do to catch up (which it did very well.) They are rightfully suspicious of America’s surveillance culture, but their technophobia and anti-Americanism continues to set their own digital development back and makes them even more dependent on the technology of American firms.

    Yet another problem is the sensibility that every aspect of society must be carefully controlled, regulated, and policed, something that was especially difficult in the early, anarchic days of the Internet. GEMA’s Berlin Wall of Music is a manifestation of these rather backward worldviews. Musicians need protections in the digital world, but GEMA’s approaches are counterproductive and harmful.