Magazine article Information Today

Copyright Clearance Center Acquires Infotrieve

Magazine article Information Today

Copyright Clearance Center Acquires Infotrieve

Article excerpt

Copyright Clearance Center's (CCC) acquisition of Infotrieve raises several questions about integrating the two companies but answers the one about when the private equity owners of Infotrieve will cash out. The acquisition was announced on Nov. 6, 2014, and Infotrieve became a subsidiary of CCC on that day. Infotrieve's CEO, Ken Benvenuto, will temporarily remain in an advisory capacity during the transition, reporting to Tracey Armstrong, CCC's president and CEO. The combined company will serve more than 35,000 customers in 140-plus countries. Analyst firm Outsell estimates that the combined firms will have revenue of more than $311 million for fiscal year 2014.

As is obvious from its name, CCC is primarily concerned with copyright issues. It specializes in rights management and licensing on a global scale. The CCC Facts page states that it is a "[n]ot-for-profit organization started in 1978 by a collaboration of content creators, content publishers and content users." Distribution of royalties to publishers has been steadily growing--it was $188.7 million in fiscal year 2013 and $192.5 million in fiscal year 2014. CCC has also developed software to facilitate managing copyright and licensing.

Infotrieve began as a document delivery company in 1987, based in Los Angeles. As such, it has always had a business relationship with CCC. Sold by its founders to private equity interests in 2003, it is now headquartered in Wilton, Conn. It secured $21.8 million in funding in January 2004. Venture capital firm Trident Capital led the Series B funding with $12 million, and supporting firms Signal Equity Partners (which led the initial Series A funding) and Boston Millennia Partners supplied the remaining money. Another round of funding in 2007 pumped an additional $5 million into Infotrieve from the same three firms. Terms of the sale to CCC were not disclosed, but the amount of money invested by Trident, Signal, and Boston Millennia provides a hint.

Both companies are also in the SaaS and software development business. In June 2014, CCC launched DirectPath, which integrates copyright management into content workflows, and it has had its RightsLink program in place for years, most recently modifying it for open access (OA) publications.

Infotrieve's Mobile Library service is designed not only to maximize document delivery but also to become part of the corporate researcher's daily life, enabling access to external databases, research literature, internal repositories, and personal files on mobile devices. It's very likely that it was Mobile Library that caught CCC's attention. According to Armstrong, Infotrieve adds "a new portfolio of complementary license and workflow offerings for our corporate customers, taps new growth potential for our publisher partners, and strengthens CCC's mission to make copyright work for everyone."

Partner and Customer Reaction

In June 2014, EBSCO Information Services announced a partnership with Infotrieve to provide its EBSCO Discovery Service via Mobile Library. Tad Goltra, VP of product management at EBSCO, sees little changing because of the acquisition. He says, "We are excited about our partnership with Infotrieve and look forward to continuing to provide mutual customers of EBSCO Discovery Service and Mobile Library with a best-in-class research solution that includes discovery, content access, rights management, and document delivery. …

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