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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Driving Licensing in China 

Big media companies are running into obstacles in their efforts to develop the Chinese market, according to the New York Times. But what about the obstacles smaller media companies face?

We recently negotiated a licensing agreement with a Chinese publisher for one of our clients. We were lucky to have the potential business fall into our laps through the outreach of a Chinese academic, who offered to translate our copy and develop the publishing relationship. (But even so, we face tremendous challenges in crafting a proper licensing agreement, ensuring that we have the rights to license our copy and images, enforcing the terms of our agreement and getting paid for our efforts.)

We don't have a full-time licensing department, as some successful b2b media companies have. And while there are a few--very few--folks out there who offer licensing services on a rep basis, there's almost nowhere for smaller, resource-challenged publishers to turn for advice, counsel and help cost-effectively and with a reasonable hope of return.

In this, I see a business opportunity. I wonder if my fellow b2b bloggers Paul Woodward (based in Hong Kong) and Hugo Martin (based in Germany, but just back from a business trip to China) see it as well? (Handy hint for reading Hugo's post, if you don't read German, and use the Google toolbar. Right click and press 'translate this page,' and you'll get the gist.)

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