A discussion on scalable, hassle-free licensing and permissions
- Kris Kliemann, Wiley
- Seth Dellon, PubMatch
- Jamie Carmichael, CCC
Recorded Wednesday, September 10, 2014
For podcast release, Wednesday, October 29, 2014
KENNEALLY: Welcome, everyone, to our program today, Innovations in Global Rights Licensing. We are very happy to have a chance to share some experts in this particular field with you and their thoughts on the situation that prevails in 2014. We’re also very happy to have all of you joining us today.
I had a quick look at the attendee list, and it struck me that this is really truly a global matter. We call it Innovations in Global Rights Licensing, but sometimes we think global means our neighborhood. But in fact, attending the call today we have representatives of publishing houses large and small from across North America, from Europe, and the U.K., but also – and I think this is a point that will come up later on – from elsewhere in the world, from Dohar, from Mumbai, from Singapore.
So we are very happy indeed to have that global community joining us today and looking forward to hearing from you. As Courtney mentioned, you should use the chat box to provide any feedback, any need for clarification on any of the points made, and indeed, we’re going to have some polling. We are going to be asking you what you think in just a few minutes.
But right now, let’s tell you a bit about what the program’s going to be like over the next 45 minutes. We are tweeting this session. If you are an avid tweeter, and we certainly hope you are, we hope you will join us in that conversation, that discussion. You can follow Copyright Clearance Center @copyrightclear.
We are going to be talking today about digital disruption and why that is both a challenge and an opportunity, and it is in fact encouraging development of a variety of new content distribution models. We’ll look at what that means particularly when it comes to licensing around subsidiary rights and permissions, and of course, since when did the publishing business become a technology business? Well, since quite some time ago, and so when we talk about publishing, of course we need to talk about technology today and the ways that technology is allowing us to grow revenue, particularly licensing revenue, so you’ll hear about that as well. And of course, we will take your questions.
So let’s take a look at some background here. When it comes to the content discovery and licensing, it’s an increasingly important area of this business of ours of publishing, and I turn to a blog post from a friend and colleague, the editorial director of Digital Book World, Jeremy Greenfield, who at the end of 2013 made what he called Ten Bold Predictions for e-books and Digital Publishing and in particular noted that publishers would be offering a variety of new revenue streams. One reason at least is because revenue in other areas is slowing or tapering in its growth climb.
You should note that in 2013, e-book revenue, which is somewhere between a fifth and a third of publishing revenue in the U.S., began to taper off. It was a number that had grown quite quickly year over year until last year, and it has now since slowed. So pair that with the continuing anxiety around the growing power of Amazon, and what has happened is that publishers of all stripes are looking at new ways to generate revenue. And indeed, Jeremy Greenfield was able to quote from a number of observers of the scene who really recognized that they can’t rely solely on digital downloads.
I think the other point that Jeremy made in the piece was that in 2014, publishers are driving towards data-driven decision-making. We have all heard the phrase big data, and so we do know that he really hit the nail on the head with that particular prediction.
What I think is interesting here is that the kinds of things we’re going to be talking about today serve not only to drive revenue growth, but also provide the publishers who are licensing their work in this fashion with a growing body of data that will help them make decisions around publishing, make decisions around which markets to enter, and make decisions about just where they should put their emphasis in a world of limited resources.
One of the points made in Jeremy’s piece was that this is all good news. People are starting to look at and figure out how to leverage data. It can be very exciting both for authors and for publishers. And of course, the bad news is, as a professor at Queens College noted, there’s a growing awareness that existing data is not as good as everyone would like it to be.
That’s where we stand, and that’s my way of introduction. We’re going to look at how digital storefronts and a variety of e-commerce activities can change the way you do business. We’re going to talk about that with someone who has been doing just that, and we want to welcome to our program Kris Kliemann who is Vice President and Director of Global Rights, Licensing, and Permissions with Wiley. Kris, welcome to our webinar.
KENNEALLY: We’re delighted to have you join us, and we’ll tell people that you have been the V.P. and Director of Global Rights and Permissions at Wiley since 2002. Wiley, of course, is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in research, professional practice, and education. Wiley’s own rights department numbers more than 40 people not only in the U.S. but also in England, Germany, Singapore, and Beijing, so indeed very much a global matter to that important publisher.
Kris’ rights team is responsible for rights negotiation, deals, and contracts across all of Wiley content from all divisions and locations. Kris, I think what I’d like to do in talking about this issue is ask you briefly about that point, that rights is a centralized concern inside Wiley.
KLIEMANN: Centralized, definitely. Concern, definitely. (laughter) I think one of the things that might be unique to Wiley is that we have a varied business. We, roughly speaking, publish in trade and professional, scientific, technical, medical, and higher education, higher and continuing education. So there’s a wide range of content types.
In many other companies that are this size, there could very well be separate rights departments handling separate kinds of content. But that’s not true for my team, and there are a lot of advantages to that from the Wiley point of view.
When we approach a customer who might obviously be interested in only one kind of content – our health content, our medical content – we take the opportunity to also talk to them about our other types of content, and that proves to be a good opportunity for us to broaden the kind of licenses we do.
KENNEALLY: A great place to start, because that sounds to me like a really comprehensive, holistic way of looking at it. In the medical world, there’s one way of looking at disease, which is to treat a particular symptom, and then there’s another approach which is to do a whole-body approach to it, and it sounds to me like that’s what you’re doing there at Wiley.
KENNEALLY: Kris, let’s take a moment to turn to our audience right now, because we have an interactive poll that we would like them to participate in. It’ll give you and us and everybody on the program a sense of what peoples’ comfort level is when using the kinds of online, automated permission services that we are speaking about today.
You can see you have some choices there. They range from I use such services frequently, I’m careful about the providers that I use and for what kind of deals, I’ve never used such services, and finally, I don’t trust the Web and never will. That’s for all the conscientious objectors out there who really are still waiting to get on board the Web. Tell us where you stand.
The poll will be done in a brief moment. I think we can close the poll and we will see results, I believe, in just a moment. Give WebEx a second to do the poll counting. We had that last night here in Massachusetts and around the country, of course. But we’ll get our results a lot faster than they get them in the city of Boston. Can we share that?
Well I can see it, at least. Let me tell you. I’ll share it with you. For the choice is I use these services frequently, 60% of the audience today is using these services. However, 40% have never used such services. So there’s still a lot of people to convert to all of this, Kris. Does that surprise you at all?
KLIEMANN: We’ve used these services for a long time, but I do know from other colleagues and other companies that it’s not that prevalent. I feel so strongly about the successes we’ve had around permissions and automated services that part of what we’re going to talk about here is why I think it would be useful to extend it to other kinds of rights licensing.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And you are a member of what we’ll call a community of rights holders around the world, and you have a good sense of where people are with all of this. Let’s talk about how Wiley approaches the matter of subrights and permissions, particularly as a licensor, because it has of course, a great range of content – you already spoke about that – not limited to any one particular area, but really across subject matters, and that must be an attractive collection to people who are looking to repurpose content in a variety of ways.
We talked about how you’re organized there at Wiley, a kind of centralized position, and some of the benefits of that. What are some of the trends that you have identified with the inbound requests you receive? We’re speaking here today and we’ll go back and forth between two sets of rights, whole rights, whole book rights, as they’re often called, and then partial rights.
So Kris, help us out. What are some things that people are looking for and what kind of response have you made to those sorts of requests?
KLIEMANN: Looking at it a little bit historically, because I’ve been doing this a long time at Wiley and then a long time before that at other companies, the rights person’s challenge, I think, is to really know her content so that she knows what she’s going to be talking about, and then to make connections with potential licensees.
In my experience, the interest or the potential is kind of endless. You can go to the Frankfurt Book Fair and turn a corner and look down an aisle and see that there’s a football field’s length worth of stands for publishers from Bulgaria or publishers from Turkey, and you might not have been focusing on publishers from those areas before, and you realize, oh, I’ve hit my big markets but I haven’t hit some of these smaller markets.
Basically, in the old days, the flimsy airmail letters and then the faxes and now the emails just keep coming in from people who discovered our titles somewhere and are interested, and how fast can we respond?
In the permissions business, the Rights Link and Copyright Clearance Center repub license solutions have made a huge difference, and I think in our experience, the permissions team now is actually able to get to the bottom of the inbox of those endless requests. It used to take us a very long time.
(overlapping conversations; inaudible)
KLIEMANN: Sorry go ahead.
KENNEALLY: I was going to say hat’s something – getting to the bottom of our inbox is something many of us can only dream about.
KLIEMANN: I know. I know.
KENNEALLY: It’s really something to think about. But I think the point you made there is of interest to me, which is that there are some obvious target markets for publication around the world, but technology and the reach of the Web is able to connect Wiley and really anybody doing this with people they wouldn’t have otherwise been introduced to. So what you’re seeing is, in that challenging time, as we said at the intro, where sources of revenue are all-important, you’re sort of bringing together all those little raindrops and really seeing something important, whereas before, that simply wouldn’t have been possible.
KLIEMANN: Exactly. In the olden days, you had to go to Frankfurt, you had to display your books. Now there are opportunities to display your book digitally, to create digital catalogues yourself or use other sources, and then communicate with people in a very different way that still feels, you know, personal and speedy. Those are the reasons why we want to use these various kinds of existing digital tools.
And then I think the opportunity to actually transact a business negotiation and even a contract digitally is an interesting prospect around things like translation rights.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And I should just say that we are chatting with everybody today in a special program, a webinar presented by Copyright Clearance Center. My name is Chris Kenneally. I understand that some people in the audience may be having a little bit of trouble hearing me. They’re not having trouble hearing Kris, so I’m going to do my best to speak as loudly and clearly as I can. Hopefully that will help everybody in the audience there.
Kris Kliemann at Wiley, let’s go to that point that I referred to, which is there are two separate kinds of rights here that are really important. There are the so-called partial rights and the full-book rights. With partial rights, can you help our audience here understand better what developments there are in that area? Are there approaches to partial rights? There are questions that must be answered, right? How long someone can have the rights for, that sort of thing. Is there a checklist you go through? Are there some thoughts you can share with people?
KLIEMANN: When we talk about partial rights in this context, I think we’re really talking about granting people the permission to reuse small pieces of content from either Wiley’s books or journals. There’s a variety of potential reuses that people have. Companies want to use things corporately to share within their own teams. There are promotional uses that sometimes come up.
I think one of the things we can focus on though is just republication rights. Many publishers are seeking permission from Wiley to use part of a journal article or part of one of our books in their own books. And as book publishing has changed, so have the rights we need to grant around those kind of permissions.
In the olden days, we published print books and we could measure how many copies we printed and we could grant permissions to people based on how many copies they planned to print. Now of course, we all live in a digital world where there are e-books. You could count e-book sales, and certainly everyone does. But there are other kinds of digital uses – website postings, uses in educational context – where you’re not actually really counting copies. You might be counting numbers of users. That kind of thing.
So we’ve all had to broaden our way of thinking about what are we granting when we grant permissions. We have a broader set of rights now that we question our licensees about. What do they intend to do? How do they intend to use it? And we’ve worked hard to come up with ways to enable people to use our content.
Our goal is definitely to get our content out in the world and to be properly compensated for it, of course. So we use the tools that we have. The republication license at copyright.com, the Rights Link series of questions all help us get to those details and enable us to move through the process and as I said, ideally get to the bottom of our inbox.
KENNEALLY: I want to put a line under that word you mentioned, which is broadening the rights. That was a point that has come up. We’ve held some roundtables. We’ve been listening to people at Copyright Clearance Center about the types of rights they are looking for, and we’ve also heard about the kinds of rights they’re willing to grant, and that’s not always the same thing. So if there’s a message from Kris Kliemann at Wiley, it’s this need to really be as broad about it as possible. Is that right?
KLIEMANN: That’s right. I mean I had to be educated to get to that position. I’m a classic rights person. I think many of us who are rights people operate under the principle of grant exactly what the other person is asking for in as limited a way as possible and get the most money for it. Ha-ha-ha. (laughter)
But when I realize that even at Wiley in terms of what we were publishing, our editorial teams were legitimately needing to get broader rights, and because they needed to get broader rights, I realized I needed to open up and start granting broader rights, which has enabled us, I think, in a collection of publishers to come up with a better way of dealing in this new world of different formats of publishing.
KENNEALLY: And do you feel that that is spreading throughout the business? Is that same understanding shared among colleagues?
KLIEMANN: I think it’s starting to spread to lots of colleagues. There are still certainly pockets of places where they’re not really understanding the purpose. Again, I always go back to the original principle, which is when a higher education publisher came to us and said, can we use your material to be in a part of our curriculum and share with students, we would never say no, you can’t do that. We defined the ways in which they could do that.
They’re still asking that same question. It’s just that, as anybody knows who’s done any kind of education lately, most or a lot of what happens in education is not from reading a paper book. It’s from looking at websites and learning objects and e-books and interactive other items. And they still want to include my content in there. I still think it’s valid for a student to learn from my content, so I need to find the right way to say yes to that.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And in this country, the so-called Common Core State Standards is driving that kind of activity, because rather than reading an entire book, students are being encouraged to read a mix of materials from a variety of sources, and that’s supposed to be encouraging critical thinking. So I think we’re going to see more of that, at least here in the U.S.
Well, Kris Kliemann, before we let you go for the moment, I want to just turn briefly from the partial rights question to the full-book issues. Of course, for Wiley this is principally a matter of translation rights. You had said there are some obvious markets to reach, but that technology today allows you to get some contracts signed from marketplaces that you wouldn’t expect, for example, some of the smaller countries of Europe.
KLIEMANN: Right. Even though I have a large rights department and a high number of people handling translation rights, there still are and there always will be markets that we’d love to reach but that feel far away or inefficient to deal with. If you took any sort of small market like Bahasa Indonesian as a language, or Bulgarian as a language, there are publishers there who are great, who are interested in translating books from English, and I’d like to get to them.
They don’t have huge populations. They don’t have huge print runs. They don’t pay large advances. I probably don’t send a person to go work in those territories and meet people. I maybe meet some of those publishers at Frankfurt or London or elsewhere. But it’s not a market I can afford properly to spend a lot of effort and expense on, but I don’t want to not license there. I want to be able to get into those markets.
Of course, it’s thrilling for our authors to be translated into lots of languages. So I try all the time to find efficient ways to reach those smaller markets.
For a different kind of publisher that has a smaller rights team, that challenge would broaden beyond the tiniest markets into the middle markets, and finding ways to efficiently deal with those middle markets can still be really useful. That’s where we get to these ideas of trying to come up with a catalogue that’s created at my company for sales into bookstores and libraries and other kinds of corporate accounts. It doesn’t exactly match up with what will be of interest to my rights customers.
So what can I do to create a catalogue that will be of interest to my rights customers? Yes, I’m going to meet with publishers from Japan and France and Germany, but what can I do to reach customers in these smaller markets? I look all the time for solutions around that.
One of the things that’s come up recently is the idea of using PubMatch, which I know Seth is going to talk about.
KENNEALLY: In fact, that’s a great transition. You just made it for me, Kris Kliemann, director of global rights and permissions at Wiley.
Now, let’s bring in our other guest today, Seth Dellon, who is Director of Product Development at PubMatch. And Seth, welcome to the program.
DELLON: Thanks, Chris. Chrises, I should say.
KENNEALLY: We’re glad to have you here and very delighted. Everybody is on board for the program. We’re about 30 minutes into things here. My name’s Chris Kenneally at Copyright Clearance Center.
We’ll tell you briefly about Seth Dellon. He’s Director, as I said, of Product Development for PubMatch, which is a joint venture of Publishers Weekly and the Combined Book Exhibit. He has overseen creation of PubMatch since its inception, and targeting creating new functionality to serve the growing network of publishers and authors that it serves. PubMatch is a worldwide community, and I think that’s a good word to use, as I said earlier – community – in the publishing industry that encourages creation of business relationships and the worldwide spreading of ideas.
Seth, I’m sure a lot of what Kris has said must sound pretty familiar to you, particularly with regard to really trying to reach as deeply into that world community as possible.
DELLON: Yes, absolutely. When we first started PubMatch, it was a way to expand that Kris said earlier about going to Frankfurt Book Fair and that sort of thing. Book fairs are incredibly valuable, but there’s also work to be done between them, and there are ways to help improve what you could do at the book fairs.
We developed PubMatch really to start as a communication tool. We all know that one of the challenges is finding the right people to communicate with, so that’s where we wanted to start with PubMatch is connecting people in the rights arena and helping them find each other so that they can talk, whether it’s finding somebody from Japan or finding somebody from Bulgaria just to get the conversation started on the topic of rights.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And as you say, it’s a kind of a logical extension of the work that you do at Combined Book Exhibit where you are organizing USA publishing pavilions at a variety of book fairs around the country, but I’m sorry, around world, but as you move from country to country, there’s a gap there between one book fair and another, so this is a way to be available, to be selling, if you will, 24/7.
DELLON: Definitely. It’s almost like a virtual book fair, though we don’t want to certainly compete with book fairs. That’s just not possible. But it gives you a presence. The books that you might bring to book fairs are the books that you’ve already brought to book fairs and didn’t have any success with. It’s a platform that you could share the information on those books, tell the world what rights you’re trying to sell, and communicate, maybe make catalogues or the tools for creating catalogues.
We know that it’s not possible to necessarily be a one-stop shop for all things rights, but we certainly try to be a big stop along the path.
KENNEALLY: Well indeed. Why don’t we just put a pause on our discussion with Seth Dellon and turn to our audience and get some feedback from you all. We want to know what your current foreign rights goals are. There are three choices there on the screen, selling foreign rights to foreign publishers, buying rights from foreign publishers, I’m sorry, and selling foreign rights to foreign publish – buying and sell rights, and not considering foreign rights just yet. If you could choose one of those three. Give us an idea of the importance of foreign rights to your business today. It will be a help to all of us to understand what are the concerns you have.
We will close that poll. And a nice response there. A turnout far better than yesterday’s election here in Massachusetts. Something like 10% or 15% of people actually voted, but we’ve got a higher percentage than that.
And by the way, delighted to see all of you joining us here. We have, as I say, a real community of people, 150 people joining us today, which is a terrific response.
So let’s share these numbers with everybody. If I could see that there. Just to the percentages. My math isn’t so great, but really the predominant number of people are I would say about 80%, if I did that correctly, are in fact looking to sell foreign rights to foreign publishers, and about 10% of the group are looking at buying and selling foreign rights both, and just under 10% have not yet considered foreign rights as part of their business plan just yet. We certainly hope that you’ll reconsider that after our discussion today.
Seth Dellon, back to you and a look at the approach that PubMatch takes with all of this. We’ve talked about various audiences. You’ve got some experience under your belt here, a number of years doing this. What are some countries that have been particularly active with you?
DELLON: Well I guess from a selling standpoint, we’re kind of new to transactions. We are working happily with Copyright Clearance Center to offer transactions of foreign rights, but in terms of people that are trying to sell foreign rights, we’ve gotten a lot of response from the English-speaking world. We have about 10,000 members on PubMatch, and maybe half of them are from the English-speaking world, people that are trying to find buyers for their rights.
From the flip side, we get a lot of people that are interested in buying rights. They come from all over, Asia, including India, a lot of the smaller European countries, countries in Eastern Europe, and they’re looking for content. They want to get content not just in their local language but also in English. A lot of these places are large markets for speaking English, so that’s a concern for them as well. There’s a lot of opportunity to sell rights to lots of different markets in several different languages.
KENNEALLY: We have on the screen there a screenshot of PubMatch’s user interface. Very briefly, tell us how it works. I think a great example, we’re just about coming to the end of the baseball season here in North America, but baseball is a game played around the world, particularly in Japan, and we’ve talked about Japan as an interesting market for people. If I were a Japanese publisher looking to republish either in English or in Japanese some new books about baseball, that would be a good place to come is PubMatch.
DELLON: Yes, definitely. You could use that search bar that you see right there on the screen. You could do a general search for baseball, and that’ll find anywhere where baseball’s mentioned. But you could actually do an advanced search. There’s a little link for an advanced search.
From that screen, you could choose that you’re looking for books with specific rights available. So a user could come on, they could say that they’re looking for books with rights available in Japanese, they could put down either a keyword or a category search for baseball, and they’ll be able to find the examples.
I actually am doing the search live on my own computer, and there are it looks like six books related to baseball that have Japanese rights available. That comes from our members who are telling the world that, hey, these are my books. This is my list. Whether it’s a small pub – a self-published author even with one or two books or a large publisher that are saying, here’s 500 books that we have.
They tell what the category is, in this case, baseball, and they say what rights are available, and they could detail whether it’s individual rights. I’m selling just the Japanese hardcover rights, for example, or they could say, I have almost every language is available in any kind of format. Let’s have a conversation about it.
KENNEALLY: That’s great. What’s interesting to me about that, you mentioned book fairs and the sale of rights at book fairs, and Kris Kliemann talked about that as well. There’s a lot of activity at a book fair. We’re all going to be at Frankfurt Book Fair next month for a week. But not everything sells all at once at that fair, and not everything sells immediately, either. So the real virtue of this here is the long tail as much as the real bestsellers, I think, because if in this World Series coming up, a particular Japanese player is the hero of the series and there’s already a biography of him published in English, that’s going to be something people are going to want to be looking for, even though that might have been published two years ago or so.
DELLON: Absolutely. The backlist is, I think, an untapped resource for a lot of publishers. When you think about the Frankfurt Book Fair, the London Book Fair, the Beijing Book Fair, all of those really important book fairs, there’s only so many hours, there’s only so many people there that could really be pushing the different books that you’re trying to sell rights for. A lot of the focus ends up going on the frontlist or maybe the immediate backlist or the backlist titles of a current frontlist author, but there could be hundreds, even thousands of titles in the backlist that you’re not – you just simply don’t have the time, the manpower, to dedicate to that.
Frankfurt Book Fair, while the days are very long, it’s only maybe 30 hours a year that it’s taking place. On PubMatch, you could continue the conversation for frontlists, for backlists. You could continue the conversation that you started in Frankfurt, you could start new conversations altogether.
KENNEALLY: Yeah indeed. And speaking of conversations, let me mention a couple of things. We are having a conversation about his webinar on Twitter. You can follow all of that. Follow Copyright Clearance Center @copyrighclear. You are part of the conversation. We’ve been asking some poll questions, but we also want to hear from you. Please use the chat box in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
This is a conversation among our panelists. Seth, I think we heard Kris Kliemann talk about reaching into marketplaces that might have been overlooked in the past but are now available because of electronic commerce and the kinds of technology that PubMatch uses. An issue that’s really important there – it’s important certainly to Copyright Clearance Center – is that what we’re encouraging here is what we’ll call authorized editions to appear around the world rather than to allow for piracy to take place.
DELLON: Sure. In our experience, we found that publishers don’t want to pirate books. I think even consumers don’t necessarily want to steal stuff if they can get an authorized edition for free, maybe outside of college students. The more local markets that you can reach, you’re much more likely to find a publisher that’s going to want to work with you, and you’re going to probably want to be more willing to work with a publisher to create an authorized edition of the book.
Certainly I think we’ve all heard about the I think 17 different Harry Potter books that are available in China. Unfortunately, there are some things that you can’t control. But if you have the ability to control it, it’s certainly a much more attractive prospect, and from an income perspective, it’s a whole new income stream that maybe you didn’t have before.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. One of the things that we hear a lot about in the book business today, Seth, is just how important readers are, because readers are closer to publishers than they ever have been. Publishers are looking for ways to reach them. But I think a point that you’ve made at presentations at various conferences you’ve told me about is that not only are readers important, but so is the industry. The kinds of activity that you’re speaking about and Kris Kliemann as well really are that B2B interaction, business-to-business interaction. First, it develops a relationship with publishers, but then of course it grows relationships in new markets with readers.
DELLON: Absolutely. I think there’s a misnomer that because my book’s on Amazon, somebody in Spain could buy it. That’s not necessarily a misnomer, but just because a book is on Amazon and available anywhere in the world, that doesn’t mean that anybody even necessarily knows about it, and that doesn’t create a local edition.
The best thing about selling foreign rights is that you’re really developing partnerships with people on the ground in the markets that you’re trying to reach, so when you sell foreign rights to a publisher, they’re taking on the onus of doing the marketing, of creating the community of readers locally, and even creating a local edition.
KENNEALLY: Seth Dellon from PubMatch, thank you so much for joining us. Stay on the line there, but right now I want to turn to my colleague right here with me at Copyright Clearance Center’s offices in Danvers, Massachusetts, Jamie Carmichael, Product Manager for our Republication Service. Welcome to the program.
CARMICHAEL: Thank you, Chris.
KENNEALLY: It’s good to have you with us, Jamie. We’re going to talk briefly about what Copyright Clearance Center is offering by way of solutions in this whole area of global rights licensing.
But again, we want to take a quick opportunity to turn to our audience and get them to answer a question we have, which is about the types of seller or buyer they may be. The choices there on the screen, I am predominantly a seller of republication rights, I am predominantly a buyer of repub rights, or my business concerns both selling and buying permissions. It’ll be interesting to see what our audience – just what the makeup and what it is they are doing out there with what we call repub around here, republication permissions. And that’s the sort of the selling, buying. It’s the inbound, outbound of rights that’s so important today.
Numbers are coming in. Jamie here at Copyright Clearance Center at our election desk. We’ve got I think a real majority, a substantial majority of people, who are looking to sell rights. So obviously, they see the opportunity here. But there are significant numbers, too. So again if my math is working there, I would say we are looking at about 75% are looking to sell, but a good 15% are in both the selling and the buying market.
CARMICHAEL: That looks about right to me. I think predominantly a seller of republication rights goes to show that people are trying to get their content out there to broader markets and look for new revenue streams. There is certainly a spirit of experimentation in publishing today. And then the buying and selling, this goes back to what Kris was speaking about having kind of a balanced policy here where you’re not just requesting broad rights, but you’re also granting them when asked.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And the types of grants you make are equally important. Kris mentioned this whole notion of a broad set of rights. I know that that was one of the things that you worked so hard on in developing Copyright Clearance Center’s own Republication Licensing Service. Let’s talk about that in terms of the offer that it has and the benefits to both the buyers and the sellers, to the sellers there, the licensors, but also to the buyers, the licensees. Can you tell us briefly?
CARMICHAEL: Absolutely. Just for some history, we’ve actually been offering republication services through copyright.com, our centralized marketplace, for more than 10 years. But a couple years ago, both our buyers and sellers came to us and told us that what we had wasn’t quite working for them. For the licensees, we were told that we weren’t meeting their minimum rights needs.
We have a wide range of authors and publishers using our system, but a large segment of the buyers are those educational publishers who Kris mentioned earlier that have affiliates around the world, and they needed to acquire broad rights for specific projects they were working on as well as those that didn’t even exist yet, like a custom edition of a work, for example. They also needed a more efficient way to clear permissions for multiple works than going directly to one agent or one publisher at a time.
On the flip side, the sellers expressed a strong need to set business rules based on the intended use to protect the original value of their content. So, yes, I’ll grant you worldwide distribution rights, but it may come at a higher price than rights limited to North America or something like that.
So in response to that feedback, CCC redesigned the marketplace for republication rights, and Kris was actually very instrumental in reshaping that. It’s a flexible framework, we use a common language, and we have standard terms and conditions that ensure legal use of the content.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And Jamie, I really like the thought that it’s a time of experimentation and really kind of getting outside one’s comfort zone. We talked about peoples’ comfort level at the beginning of the program, and when it comes to rights licensing as it grows more and more important to the business, taking a chance, a calculated risk, if you will, moving in an innovative direction is a great way to go, and one of the ways we do it here is to listen to what people like Kris Kliemann have to say and colleagues at a variety of publishing houses and incorporate that into the service we offer.
So when it comes to RLS, we see a variety of publishers like Nature, Perseus Books, Taylor and Francis, BMJ, Sage, they’re all participating because they see real value in this service.
CARMICHAEL: Yes. We’re actually up over 700 participating publishers. It’s very low risk. It’s free to sign up, and sellers have as much control or as little control in the rights that they grant as they wish. They can set limits around particularly valuable content that can be reused and other types of parameters like that.
KENNEALLY: We are now going to turn, Jamie Carmichael, to the questions from our audience that we have in our chat box, but there is one that’s come up today and it comes up a lot for you, which is, what if I don’t own all the rights? This is a question that trade publishers particularly have, and we have quite a number of trade publishers on the call today. So that’s what they’re probably thinking, jeez, I’d love to be able to be part of this kind of global transaction system, but I’m not sure I have the kinds of rights that would allow me to do that.
CARMICHAEL: Yes, that’s exactly right, and it’s actually not uncommon for sellers to start with a smaller list of titles that they know they own the rights to, and we can certainly help with that research at CCC. Some of the more newer publications are a little bit easier to manage because of some of the advances in the tracking systems out there today.
But then for other titles that they’re less sure about, they can certainly review incoming requests on a case-by-case basis and that way, as the research is under way and the requests come in and you’ve identified who the correct rights owner is, you can start pre-authorizing more titles and really automating more of that business and capturing new revenues for those broader rights that we’ve been talking about.
KENNEALLY: Great. Jamie Carmichael with Copyright Clearance Center, thanks so much for that. And again, the audience is encouraged to chat with us. Let us know what you think. If there’s a clarification that you would like us to make or a question you’d like answered, we’d be delighted to try to do that in some of the time we have remaining, just a few more minutes here.
Seth Dellon, we bring you back in because there’s a question here about the geographical distribution of publishers using PubMatch. We were talking about some of the markets that people are hoping to reach, particularly Asia. No surprise there. There’s a pivot to Asia going on in Washington and probably a pivot to Asia going on at many publishing houses as well.
Is that what you’re seeing? Are there other areas that are also sort of rising in importance?
DELLON: In importance, I mean, I think that’s pretty subjective to say what’s important. Kris Kliemann was saying that small markets are the markets that she’s trying to reach, and maybe those aren’t the biggest revenue-generating markets, but there’s certainly opportunity.
In terms of the geographical distribution of publishers on PubMatch, there are publishers from 150 different countries registered on PubMatch, and that goes from pretty much every region you could think of. I can probably not even list 150 countries off the top of my head.
Obviously, like I said, most of the participants on PubMatch come from the English-speaking world, so that would be obviously North America, the U.K., Australia. Even – India is the third-largest English-speaking market on the planet, but there are members from literally all over the world. Some smaller markets, obviously, have fewer members than larger markets, but if you could think of a country, I’m sure there will be at least one member on PubMatch coming from there.
KENNEALLY: Indeed. And one other clarification, and then we’re going to get to a pretty interesting question we have regarding, I believe, translation. We’ll get to that in a second. But just a clarification, Seth. Does PubMatch support periodicals and journals? We’ve got some people on the line today from the newspaper business.
DELLON: If you’re trying to sell the translation rights to an article like that or a piece like that, our focus really is books, but content can be presented as a book, certainly. But just to clarify, Copyright Clearance Center’s Rights Link tool and the different tools that you have for allowing republication, that might be more of the tool that the periodical publishers are looking for than PubMatch. Although, if you want to try and sell the foreign rights of it and present it as a book, you’re certainly more than welcome to use our platform.
KENNEALLY: Certainly these days, content has been freed from its container, if you will, Seth, right? Blog posts are part of a newspaper’s website as much as the articles that appear in the actual print edition, and that’s equally true on the book side of things and the journal side of things. So we’re seeing content proliferate on the Web, and its form, we may still call it a book, but really it’s less and less a book and more a multimedia experience.
So really interesting, and thank you for that question.
Kris Kliemann, we have a question here from John asking about translations, and I know this is something that you’re particularly keen about at Wiley. If I can read out John’s question here, we’d love to hear what you think.
He makes the point that creating translations of books for international markets is something that can often be really expensive for smaller publishers. He’s asking about trends that you may be seeing in terms of publishers allowing the requesting publisher a license to include the first publisher’s content in translations sublicensed to translating publishers in those international markets.
That’s a little confusing, but that’s what this is about, right? You have to kind of sort things out. Sort out that question for us about enabling smaller publishers to be able to license in international markets translations.
KLIEMANN: I’ll just try and break that down a little bit. Really, there are very few publishers of English-language books who take the time or the expense to create a translation. As Seth was mentioning, most of us English-language publishing companies exist and then have rights teams like mine that go and talk to publishers who publish in foreign languages about them taking on the expense, getting a license from me to take on the expense to make the translation into Spanish and then to publish that book in Spanish-speaking markets with all the bells and whistles that publishers have – promotion, direct sales to their accounts, all those kinds of things.
So, even big publishers, for the most part, are not routinely creating a book in English and then also creating it in Chinese and Spanish and Japanese so they can sell it in those territories. What we’re talking about here is making translation rights licensing deals with other publishers.
There are a couple other questions here I know that point to that. We do have translation rights deals on our journal content, and we go about that pretty much the same way. There are publishers of journals or in fact some book publishers who will approach us in certain languages and ask can they do a four-volume version of one of our journals with a selection of articles that they’ll then publish either as a journal publication or a book publication. So we do do that with journal content as well.
Then just going back to the smaller pieces of content, such as an article or a part of a book, that transaction can happen in the repub license or the Rights Link license, right, Jamie? We have the opportunity in there for someone who wants to translate an article into Japanese to make that transaction through the CCC tools.
CARMICHAEL: Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s one aspect of that broader bundle that we’ve been talking about, what territories will the content be (inaudible) in, what languages. And there are multiple selections there that a seller can pre-price based on the value that they set on their content.
KENNEALLY: We’re coming to the end of our program here, but Seth, there have been a number of questions about sort of deciding what the asking price is for a work. We don’t set prices at Copyright Clearance Center. Our publishers, our authors set the prices. How do you work with your members to determine the transactions, or is that something that happens offline from the actual website?
DELLON: They have a few options. They could transact offline. They could also use our transactional system, which utilizes CCC’s technology. Using that, the sellers do assign the price themselves. When deciding how to price, we have a few links in the system to some different articles that help you decide.
You sort of have to take everything into consideration when pricing from the print run that you’re offering, if in fact you’re offering a print version, to the size of the market. Certainly you could demand more for a Spanish edition than maybe for a Bulgarian edition just because the size of the market would only dictate such.
It takes a little bit of homework, and we do our best to point you in the direction of where you could start doing your homework. But it’s hard to say. The general sales of the book, everything plays into it, how successful the book is currently, so there are a lot of factors. It’s hard to say just one or two.
KENNEALLY: Indeed, but thank you for giving us some of the parameters there, Seth Dellon.
With that, we’re going to have to unfortunately come to the end of our program. It has flown by for me. I hope you have enjoyed hearing from our participants.
We’ve been talking about book fairs, and I guess the question for many people on the phone today, on the webinar today is, are you going to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and if indeed you will be at Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest book fair coming up in Frankfurt, Germany, next month, we want to let you know where to find the participants on this webinar.
Wiley in Hall 8.0 at stand N-46. PubMatch, same hall, stand R-30. Copyright Clearance Center is over in the Scientific and Professional Hall, 4.2 at stand E-23. You can learn all about the number of programs that we will be sponsoring at Frankfurt on our website, copyright.com/frankfurt.
We have a very special program coming up on Thursday morning on open access, a Frankfurt Book Fair town meeting that’s looking at some of the latest issues in open access licensing for journal and scientific content. We’ve got a number of people lined up for that. A very lively discussion is going to take place in the Professional and Scientific information hotspot. If you’re there throughout the week, you could also hear Tracey Armstrong, our CEO, who will be speaking to the International Rights Directors meeting. My colleague Michael Healy, our Executive Director of International Relations will speak at CONTEC on recycle, remix, and resell, topics of interest to people.
If you’ve been joining us today, you may want to catch all of that. Again, the information on our programs at copyright.com/frankfurt.
So finally, thank you Kris Kliemann from Wiley, Vice President and Director of Global Rights Licensing and Permissions. Kris, great to talk to you.
KENNEALLY: Seth Dellon, Director of Product Development at PubMatch. Likewise, Seth. Thank you for joining us.
DELLON: Thanks, Chris.
KENNEALLY: Jamie Carmichael, nice to see you here at Copyright Clearance Center. She’s our Product Manager for Republication Service. Thank you.
CARMICHAEL: Thank you.
KENNEALLY: My name’s Chris Kenneally, and for Courtney Wagner and all of us at Copyright Clearance Center, thank you for joining us. Take care.