Selling intellectual property rights

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Amos Parr
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Selling intellectual property rights

Post by Amos Parr »

My father died two years ago. He wrote 5 or 6 books, short guides to various aspects of industrial relations, in the 70s and 80s, and the combined royalties for these have made between £100 to £300 a year.
In his later years he was always surprised to receive money for what he considered outdated research & ideas.

Last week my mother received a letter from the publishers, addressed to my late father, asking if he would be prepared to negotiate selling the intellectual rights on some or all of his books. She is interested to proceed.

I have two questions:

1. As the amount of money here is not huge, is it worth involving a specialist solicitor to negotiate for us?

2. Is anyone able to suggest a "ballpark" figure that we should start our bargaining with, given that the royalties are making about £200 per year?

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Post by CopyrightAid »

I have two question of my own...

1. Why should you give up the regular (albeit modest) royalty cheque. Does the amount they are offering make it worth your while?

2. What intentions does the publisher have for the work? - I'm guessing he's seen a potential worth more than a few hundred quid a year.
I would certainly also ask the publisher what they plan to do with the work - there may be the chance of a slice of a bigger pie.

Is it worth getting a solicitor involved to negotiate? That rather depends on how much you want. For the sums you are talking about - the solicitor may cost more than he makes. It's worth asking if you can get a free 1/2 hour consultation though - a lot of solicitors still do this.

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