Movie Rights

This came out of Publishers’ Weekly today:

I wonder what this means for writers.  If Macmillan starts up its own TV/movie division, will it cull exclusively from its own literary properties?  And will this lead to a future where publishers inherently expect to be granted movie rights for a book (for no additional compensation, of course)?

Random House Films has been doing some similar for the last few years, with mixed results.  Simon and Schuster is owned by CBS/Viacom, which itself has CBS Films.  If these media conglomerates solicit work from in-house, will signing with a Big Six publisher be the same as signing away your screen rights?

Film rights are the most juicy rights a writer has, more lucrative than print rights in many cases.  Now that three of the Big Six are in the Hollywood game, how long until Penguin and HarperCollins follow suit?  Not so much for Hachette though, as they got out of movies when Time Warner sold out to them.

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