Entertainment deals do not end with just the one-off project. Any entertainment-related product (such as adaptations, translations, or re-publications) may be a source of future income for their rightful owners. So clearing worldwide rights is absolutely necessary to understand the financing and distribution of the product. The lengthy and complicated nature of clearance rights can be compared to the value and importance of property rights and should not be taken lightly.
To be realistic, it is impossible to clear world rights for all related items that are imaginable and available to an entertainment product. Finances and the practicality of finding every usage is too much to consider and expensive. Recovering investments as well as turning a profit are the key motivators to clearing rights. That is why most rights that get cleared are the ones that are known to generate sufficient income. Always assess the available budget and the urgency for rights licensing and implement that into your plan for rights clearances.
Clearance of Rights can be divided into two major groups: Republication Rights and Adaptation Rights.
Republication Rights are a bit less intricate than Adaptation Rights. The publisher will go through contractual agreements to partake in the profits that come from licensing subsidiary rights (for the original body of work that it owns). Republication of the underlying work does not necessarily create a new copyrightable product as the reproduction, display, and production are close to the source material. Some examples of exceptions may be the organization or layout of the material, epilogue, or a new preface that may need new copyrights. All subsidiary rights should be thoroughly reviewed so that there is no conflict with previous licenses.
Adaptation Rights are more cumbersome as it deals with transferring the rights from the underlying source to a completely new piece of work that needs its own rights, privileges, and copyright protection. This is a lengthy process that must establish if the rights to adapt the underlying work is even available and if there are existing subsidiary rights that will conflict with the new expectations.
In order to navigate through the intense and diverse world of clearance rights, consult your attorney for advice tailored to your situation and needs.