Managing Foreign Rights and Promoting Backlist Titles

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By Alex Hippisley-Cox

IPR License is a dedicated online platform for publishers to trade rights globally, and is the first fully transactional rights and licensing arketplace within the publishing industry. The UK-based company has 500 members listing their rights online, and a large, international subscriber base of rights-buyers. In 2015, rights listings were viewed by publishers in 171 countries across 132 different languages.
Minkus photo
© Frankfurt Book Fair

Thomas Minkus, Managing Director of IPR License and VP at the Frankfurt Book Fair, talks here about the platform and what it has to offer English-language editors looking to buy German titles.

What would you say is the USP of the IPR License platform for rights buyers?

IPR offers high quality content from leading publishers that is searchable and fully transactional, providing editors with the unique opportunity to browse international titles, for free, from the convenience of a desktop. They can also ask for specified reports, according to categories or topics, which is a more targeted way of finding what they are looking for.

In your opinion, how can German and international publishers, and English-language editors, get the best out of the IPR License services?

IPR provides a new type of network and reach that is appealing to both sellers and buyers. Editors have the chance to browse the platform for inspiration, and to network, while publishers have a way of showcasing their titles to a new audience. The most essential thing, of course, is for everybody to actually engage with the platform, and make full use of the opportunities it offers.


Bressan photo
© Herder

Francesca Bressan is Rights Manager at Herder Publishing, one of the oldest publishing houses in Germany. Here she tells us what she found appealing about joining the network.

How important is it for your company to make sure that English-language editors are able to search for and find your titles online?

Since the name Herder is probably best known for titles in the field of theology and religion, I think it’s a great opportunity to highlight our other types of books and show what a range of content we publish. A platform like IPR License should help our company connect with new publishers whom we might not be able to reach via traditional routes.

Is there a particular genre of titles on the Herder list that should appeal to the English-language market?

Herder has a number of interesting publications concerning Psychology, Society & Culture, and Mind, Body, Spirit which we believe could be of major interest to the English-language market.


Muellenbach - photo
© De Gruyter

Kathrin Müllenbach is an attorney at law, specialising in IP law and Director of Rights & Licenses at De Gruyter. Her areas of responsibility are the worldwide license and aggregator business, as well as the development of new kinds of content exploitation, especially in the corporate market.

De Gruyter recently signed up to the IPR License network and became the first major publisher in Germany to be a member. What was it about the platform that appealed to you? And which of your titles do you think would especially appeal to English-language editors?

We hope that in the future many international publishers will use IPR License as their main research instrument. We especially like the  ability to highlight up to 100 titles and change the ranking whenever we want, so we can make recommendations to our potential customers very easily. The most appealing function is the reporting capacity where we can get the correlation between license markets and title inquiries. Our history titles, especially post-war history, are highly attractive for English-language editors. Also appealing are our classics – we have published some very renowned authors in various subjects, such as Horst Bredekamp, Martin Heidegger and Paul Tillich.

With thanks to the German Book Office New York

Alex Hippisley-Cox is Head of PR for IPR License where rights buyers can search, offer, negotiate and complete deals for whole book and journal rights, licensing and permissions. In May 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair made a significant investment in IPR License, and in April 2016 it acquired control of the company, with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) keeping its minority stake.