“I have a deep and enduring relationship with all things administrative”

In recent years, the selling of rights has changed dramatically. The growing number of available book formats and delivery options, plus the expansion of global market opportunities, have all facilitated an increase in the value of rights income. The sale of physical books and journals has shifted to the sale of content in multiple formats, with a finer img_3015division of regional rights becoming the de-facto standard.

This BIC Breakfast – which took place on Wednesday 22nd February 2017 – provided an update on the challenges of selling rights in the book industry supply chain as it currently stands. With a stellar line-up of speakers, this event discussed how the selling of rights has changed in recent years, which organization types are experiencing this change (i.e. trade and/or STM), and how technology and appropriate tools can help to leverage the opportunities created by digital publishing.

THE HOST: Alaina-Marie Bassett, Business Manager, BIC

THE SPEAKERS:  Lynette Owen, Copyright & Rights Consultant; Diane Spivey, Group Contracts Director, Hachette UK; and Michael Healy, Executive Director of International Relations, Copyright Clearance Center

img_3046“I have a deep and enduring relationship with all things administrative”

This was Diane Spivey’s opening line at the BIC Breakfast, Knowing your Rights: The Challenges of Selling Book Rights in a Changing & Increasingly Digital Landscape Wednesday 22nd February 2017 9am-10:30am and how apt is this quote is for a conversation about Rights?

Five highlights from the talk:

  1. Rights management is a deeply administrative process but as Lynette Owen rightly pointed out we have seen an acceleration in the process thanks to technology. In the old days we had to post manuscripts to far off lands, we used snail mail, and rarely used the phone. We now have emails, Skype and increasing digital signature. Nowadays publishers can also use digital rights catalogues to distribute.
  1. Rights are changing – no first serial, no book club or digest rights. Small deals that are more fragmented – micro deals. This means more administration.
  1. Our sourcing in rights is becoming big – platforms like IPR can help sell backlist and smaller deals, allowing publishers to focus on the bigger deals. Rights platforms like ours can also help support or become the rights department for small publishing companies.
  1. Digital Rights are important. By that we mean licensing content to websites to use for their content. This is very prevalent in business books.
  2. Copyright is at risk and as a result so is our industry – the recent relaxation of copyright law in Canada has led to teachers being enabled to copy books for free and many publishing companies have closed down. Michael Healy stated this is a very real threat to our industry and we should all keep a close eye on proceedings.

Jane Tappuni

Jane Tappuni  is head of Business Development at IPR