Who Owns the Rights? A June Conference Calls the Question

In News by Erin L. Cox

As the publishing rights landscape shifts and changes, priorities, concerns, and opportunities can change quickly. Rights and Content in the Digital Age will tackle the core issues.
Image - iStockphoto: ekinyalgin

Image – iStockphoto: ekinyalgin

By Erin L. Cox | @erinlcox

Are You Exploiting New Rights Opportunities Fully?
Foreign.  Audio.  First Serial. Film. Book Club.

rights audienceWhen we think of the word “rights,” these categories tend to be what publishers focus on, silo-ing decisions and work predominantly in the subsidiary rights department.  And, up until recently, that approach has provided publishers with a steady stream of revenue flowing directly to the bottom line.

But some of those traditional avenues are closing and all too often publishers haven’t fully explored the new opportunities available to them. In a digital age, when backlist is frontlist, many publishers are leaving money on the table while also opening themselves up to potential liability by not keeping better track of the rights and licenses they hold.

And, more importantly, the discussion of rights is not only for the rights department or even strictly for publishers.

At every stage of the publishing process, from acquisition to marketing to sales, there now are opportunities and pitfalls that publishers must be aware of in order to better manage their content, reach their readers, and maximize revenue for themselves and their writers.  For writers who see shrinking advances, it’s crucial to pay attention to rights management both by their publishers and their agents in order to exploit all opportunities on behalf of their work.

On June 13, Publishing Perspectives will host a half-day conference in New York City titled Rights and Content in the Digital Age. The event will help publishers assess the way they view issues around rights.

Sponsored by Copyright Clearance Center and Ingenta, “Rights and Content in the Digital Age” will highlight leading experts in the book industry and other media, as well as authors and agents, in order to share their experiences, provide prescriptive advice, and identify creative new opportunities.

“Rights and Content in the Digital Age” is devised to examine the following questions and more to help rights professionals, agents, editors, writers, and marketers address them.

  • Can automation in permissions and licensing allow rights professionals to focus on more strategic planning?
  • Are we most effectively tapping into and marketing the backlist?
  • Who owns the rights and how do we monetize short pieces or videos writers create as promotion for their upcoming books?
  • How do you start licensing for video games, toys, or even something we’ve yet to think of?
  • What new rights should editors be asking for from writers or, alternately, should writers be holding back?
  • What can we do to protect publishers and writers from legal issues when it comes to these new rights opportunities?
  • Are there content industries that have explored new frontiers of rights usage from which book publishers can learn?

Publishing Perspectives, Ingenta, and Copyright Clearance Center hope you can join us. Publishing Perspectives’  Rights and Content in the Digital Age conference is on June 13, Grand Hall at the NYU Kimmel Center in New York City. The conference hashtag is #pprights16Tickets are available here.

About the Author

Erin L. Cox

Erin L. Cox has worked as Business Development Director for Publishing Perspectives. She is a Senior Associate at Rob Weisbach Creative Management, where she represents writers and handles publicity and advertising clients.