Lizenzgeschäfte in der Buchverlagswirtschaft

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Working Paper
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Schleifer, Irene
Hagenhoff, Svenja

Licensing is an important option for companies to gain an economic ad-vantage compared to other commercial enterprises; it is a significant source of income. Especially in a sector such as the German book indus-try, which is characterised by its diffuseness in small and medium-sized enterprises, licensing has now become an established method through which companies can assert themselves on the market. They achieve product differentiation and increase their brand’s publicity. A license agreement for ancillary rights, such as book-club, paperback or mer-chandising rights, can be made not only on a national level but also on an international level. If, for example, a German publisher sells transla-tion rights for a publication to a foreign publisher, both of them get added value out of this deal. Such a trade requires detailed preparation on the part of the licensor and the licensee. To succeed, a licensing agreement needs information about the guidelines and the behavioural patterns of the partner. Therefore, licensing must be understood in its complexity and as an opportunity for book companies and their pene-tration of the market. While most academic publications focus on juris-prudential topics of licensing or discuss general economic aspects, they rarely delve into reasons for licensing agreements between publishers in combination with their different specifications. This academic study adapts these issues and provides insight into the licensing business us-ing examples from the German book industry; the focus of investigation is on printed books published by German-language general interest pub-lishers.

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