Bologna’s New TV/Film Rights Center; London’s Rights Seminar

In News by Porter Anderson

At Bologna, the book fair plans a new television and film rights trading center. And in London, the ‘Introduction to Rights’ seminar precedes the trade show.

A view of the trading floor at Bologna Children’s Book Fair’s 2023 Licensing Trade Fair, the unit with which the new TV/Film Rights Center is associated. Image: BCBF

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Bologna’s New TV/Film Rights Center
A new rights-trading center opens during the April 8 to 11 run of Bologna Children’s Book Fair, its associated generalist-publishing wing Bologna Book Plus, and the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids.

While trade visitors to the world’s largest international fair for book-publishing professionals know that trading centers dedicated both to young readers’ content and more generalized content were part of the fair’s 2023 footprint, this year a new television and film rights center is being added.

Called the TV/Film Rights Center, this new division of the fair is being put together as a place in which “audiovisual producers and commissioning editors [can] find the next book-based intellectual property, to be developed into TV series and films for children, young people, and family target audiences.”

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair exhibitor directory is now online for trade visitors. Image: BCBF

A registered producer will, organizers say, be able to:

  • Participate in one-on-one “matchmaking” meetings facilitated by the fair between publishers and producers
  • Promote their screen properties to publishers
  • Access the database of publishers and visitors registered at the fair
  • Access the fair’s online “global rights exchange” service
  • Have a listing in the BCBR catalogue
  • Use a dedicated business lounge area strategically located in the heart of the fair, to stow things, receive assistance, use a free bar service, and organize meetings

In this first edition, the film and television rights center is expected to have limited time, meaning that registered producers will be those with the best chances to reach the publishing players they need to see. The project is designed to involve all of Bologna’s publishers, who will receive an information sheet about each registered producer.

Additional facilities are said to be in the works to support the audiovisual-specialist crowd registered with the TV/Film Rights Center. On April 10, there’s to be a series of conference events for the audiovisual sector “in the context of the fourth edition of International Kids Licensing Days,” a program on trends in children’s content.

To reserve a spot in this new rights offering, write to by February 23.

London’s Traditional ‘Introduction to Rights’ Seminar

At Stationers’ Hall, London, the venue for this year’s ‘Introduction to Rights Seminar’ from Publishers’ Licensing Services. Image: Stationers’ Hall

A longtime staple of the run-up to London Book Fair (March 12 to 14), the Introduction to Rights program, returns this year on March 11, once more presented by the nonprofit Publishers’ Licensing Services, which oversees collective licensing in the United Kingdom for book, journal, magazine, and Web site copying.

The organization is owned and directed by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers; the Independent Publishers Guild; the Publishers Association; and the Professional Publishers Association.

This year set at the 350-year-old Stationers’ Hall in Ave Maria Lane with a 1-t0-6 p.m. schedule (including the all-important drinks reception), the program features the return of a familiar quartet of speakers:

  • Diane Spivey, a rights and contracts consultant
  • Copyright and rights consultant Lynette Owen
  • Duncan Calow, a partner at DLA Piper
  • :Stephanie Purcell, group rights director at Bloomsbury Publishing

Admission to the program is £90 plus VAT on the current early-bird rate  (US$113), available until February 26, and after that it’s £100 plus VAT (US$126), with ticketing available here.

Attendees will find themselves hearing the speakers go through talks including “Why Sell Rights?”; “You Can’t Sell What You Don’t Own”; “What Rights Can  You Sell?”; and “The Compete Contract and Rights Deal Checklist.”

Diane Spivey

In prepared comments for today’s media messaging, Spivey is quoted, saying, “Attending a rights-focused book fair for the first time can be rather daunting. This course will help  you get the most out of the fair, giving you essential information about rights selling, from solid advice on copyright and other legal issues through to practical tips on presenting suitable titles to potential customers, negotiating and finalizing deals and clear guidance on rights contracts.

“Not only  do you get the opportunity to learn from experts in the field but also to network and chat with other book fair attendees. Whether you’re attending on behalf of an established publishing company or a  new start-up, whether you’re an author or an agent, this course will give you the perfect background to hit the ground running on the first day of London Book Fair.”

Tom West

Tom West, who is the CEO of Publishers’ Licensing Services, says he sees the Introduction to Rights program as something that helps the organization “build on the work that [it]  already does through our rights and licensing hub and other initiatives to  help improve knowledge of such an important area of our industry.

“Attendees” at the program “are going to receive a rights master class at the UK’s historic home of copyright from some of the industry’s top experts and each speaker involved is known and respected across the industry.”

Lynette Owen

And Owen says, “The successful sale of rights represents a major contribution to income for authors, publishers, and literary agents.

“This event will cover the rationale and practicalities of selling rights, as well as an  opportunity to network with delegates and the team of speakers ahead of the 2024 London Book  Fair.”

The seminar, as the organization describes it, “is aimed at anyone working in the publishing  industry or studying a publishing course who are looking to learn some rights and licensing basics, or anyone who has just started [working] in a rights team and wants to network with other rights professionals and learn some key tips to unlocking the value of rights.”

Publishers’ Licensing Services reports that it distributed more than £40 million (US$50.5 million) from collective licensing fees in 2022 and 2023, and is a roster of at least 4,000 publishers signed up for its services.

Meanwhile, more about the International Rights Center at London Book Fair itself is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on London Book Fair is here, more on rights trading in the international marketplace is here, our Rights Roundup series is here, more on licensing is here, and more on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here.  

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.