The Right Choice: Understanding Acquisition and Licensing of Rights for International Translations

The Right Choice: Understanding Acquisition and Licensing of Rights for International Translations

The Right Choice: Understanding Acquisition and Licensing of Rights for International Translations, the first event of the year-long International Publishing Fellowship 2022, was designed as a masterclass and responded to the challenges emerging from the knowledge gap in rights acquisitions of titles from India and the UK.


Arpita Das, Founder-Publisher - Yoda Press
Susanna Nicklin, CEO - The Marsh Agency and Indigo Press
Audience Development
Creative Careers
Legal and Policy

About the Event

The 2022 International Publishing Fellowship is part of the India/UK Together, a Season of Culture series of programmes. It evolved from the findings of the ‘India Literature and Publishing Sector Study’ conducted by the Art X Company and released in December 2021. The Fellowship is a peer-to-peer mentoring and professional development programme where publishers from the UK are matched with publishers of similar career stages and publishing interests from India. The year-long programme consists of reciprocal study trips, masterclasses and networking opportunities.

One of the challenges identified early in the ‘India Literature and Publishing Sector Study’ was the lack of training in the area of rights acquisitions for international writers and translations, especially in India where there is no formal training available for this sector. The context and processes of rights acquisition and licensing vary in formality across India and the UK, coupled with limited knowledge, networks and access to databases of translated works available for rights acquisition of international titles.

Led by Arpita Das and Sussana Nicklin, this session foregrounded copyright laws, essential steps in rights selling, various aspects of rights acquisition and shared pathways to learning and honing related skills. It covered:

  • The legal processes involved in acquiring and licencing a translation — contract negotiation, laws and regulations, royalties and payments, and related legal issues
  • Scouting and contacting international agents and international publishing houses and building networks.
  • Different modalities, platforms and methods of acquiring rights — book fairs, personal contacts, visits to publishing houses and networking events.

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