We have worked with Penningtons Manches Cooper for many years now, and have never been disappointed with the service we receive.

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Latest news & insights:

The digital revolution in the publishing industry has created diverging challenges and resulted in significant investment in digital rights management to tackle an array of copyright issues. There has also been a notable increase in legal disputes between publishers, authors and e-commerce platforms. Amid unending developments in an ever-changing market, our publishing lawyers continue to deliver exceptional guidance on the full spectrum of traditional and online matters.

Many hurdles faced by the creative industries collectively derive from new technologies, such as the increased use of text and data mining of content by AI programmes, even where no licences have been granted. Content creation by AI programmes and whether it should be protected by copyright law are also hot topics alongside the introduction of emerging tools such as blockchain and NFTs to establish fresh ways of generating value from published works. However, this may create further legal complexity that needs to be analysed carefully.

Of particular relevance to academic publishers is the shift towards open access publishing. Scientific funders worldwide require the outputs of research they fund to be readily available to all. To help exploit both existing routes to market and new technologies, while safeguarding rights, commercial interests and the quality of curation, these organisations need dedicated legal support from specialists with the business acumen and awareness to manage risk yet ensure their clients stay ahead of the curve. 

For several decades, we have been widely acknowledged as trusted advisers to the publishing sector. Our firmwide team of expert publishing lawyers comprises colleagues from across our commercial, intellectual property, employment, corporate, and litigation practice areas. Our deep understanding of the industry allows us to navigate complex legal challenges - whether handling copyright issues, contract negotiations, data protection, or reputation management, our lawyers demonstrate an unwavering commitment to delivering tailor-made solutions. 

We have successfully advised and represented numerous, high profile clients, ranging from regional and specialist publishers, to multinational corporations, academic and society publishers, literary estates and charities. Recognised as ‘leaders in their field’ by the main legal directories, our publishing lawyers are praised for being ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and providing ‘an appropriate level of review without over complicating matters’. 

In addition to taking an active role in industry organisations such as the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, a number of our team members have gained valuable experience working in-house for publishers during their careers. We also contribute regularly to industry bodies and conferences, presenting on key market trends and topical issues.

We offer expert advice on:

  • corporate transactions, including the acquisition and disposal of publishing assets and businesses
  • trade marks and brand protection
  • copyright licence agreements, author publishing agreements and editor agreements, including open access licensing
  • agency and consortium agreements
  • procurement including IT services
  • new technology platform agreements, including agreements relating to text and data mining
  • data protection and GDPR requirements such as data audits, privacy notices and data protection policies
  • data breaches and cyber security
  • reputation management, defamation and misuse of personal data
  • literary estates – estate planning for authors, including advice on copyright and brand management and protection
  • digital publishing, including digital subscription services, cloud based services and technology driven by Web 3

Recent work highlights

Long-standing appointment

Acting for an international academic publisher for over 30 years in relation to many different matters, including corporate acquisitions and sales, the acquisition and disposal of titles and publishing lists, joint ventures, global procurement and the novation of author contracts.

Global procurement project

Assisting a major UK-based, multinational academic, educational and trade publisher on a number of different categories in a global procurement project, involving paper, print and bind; content creation; technology; and distribution/warehousing.

NFT platform

Advising a German publishing company in relation to its NFT platform which makes it possible to publish, buy, trade and collect NFT books, audio books and other literary works as digital originals. Our specialist publishing lawyers provided regulatory guidance and advised on the platform terms of use.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP