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GCA Licensing Seminar

The GCA added to its successful series of member seminars in June with its first stand alone Licensing Seminar, attended by 50 members.

“This is such a growth area for card publishers, both as licensors and licensees, so there is huge interest in this area,” said Sharon Little, GCA chief executive.

The seminar was held in association with Briffa the specialist intellectual property (IP) law firm and covered both the theory and practice of licensing.

The importance of the legalities and different aspects of licensing contracts was covered by Briffa’s Megan O’Callaghan. She flagged up that a “contract…doesn’t have to be a scary document. It is possible to have a short document of a few pages long which covers you and will give you a basis for your relationship with your licensees.” 

But it also became clear that licensing can be complicated business with many twists and turns, and entering this market unprepared could land the unwary publisher in deep water. In a short space of time, member speaker Clare Levi, director of Takkoda showed how she went from licensing novice to a well-known brand on many different products with her Famous Faces animal range. However without having the legal backup she revealed how easy it can be to fall foul of the law, especially when licensing abroad.

Sarah Britton Woodmasterne’s publishing manager, talked about the importance of her relationships with established brands, ‘virgin’ brands and individual artists and gave her top licensing tips. She advised to always check that the artist does own the copyright (as things are not always as they seem at first glance), agreeing the basic principles of the license at a very early stage to avoid mishaps later on, “but the most important thing is even once you have crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s and the agreement is all in place .... it's the relationship that counts, good communication, building trust and clear expectations should allow it to go from strength to strength,” Sarah asserted.

The seminar covered many other aspects on the legal side including potential problems, disputes and their resolution.

The full notes of the seminar will soon be available to GCA members in the member's area.