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According to international organizations such as UNESCO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), cultural industries (sometimes also known as "creative industries") combine the creation, production, and distribution of goods and services that are cultural in nature and usually protected by intellectual property rights.
The notion of cultural industries generally includes textual, music, television, and film production and publishing, as well as crafts and design. For some countries, architecture, the visual and performing arts, sport, advertising, and cultural tourism may be included as adding value to the content and generating values for individuals and societies. They are knowledge-based and labour-intensive, creating employment and wealth. By nurturing creativity and fostering innovation societies will maintain cultural diversity and enhance economic performance.
Cultural industries worldwide have adapted to the new digital technologies and to the arrival of national, regional and international (de)regulatory policies. These factors have radically altered the context in which cultural goods, services, and investments flow between countries and, consequently, these industries have undergone a process of internationalization and progressive concentration, resulting in the formation of a few big conglomerates: a new global oligopoly.
- Cognitive-cultural economy
- Audley, Paul. Canada's Cultural Industries: Broadcasting, Publishing, Records, and Film. Toronto: J. Lorimer & Co., in Association with the Canadian Institute for Economic Policy, 1983. ISBN 0-88862-459-X (pbk.)
- "Creative Industries". UNESCO. Retrieved 2009-01-27.