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UK to become first country to extend PLR to remote ebook, audiobook loans

In the UK, Parliament has passed legislation to make it the first country in the world to extend Public Lending Right (PLR) payments to remote loans of ebooks and audiobooks, reports the Bookseller.

The Digital Economy Bill comes into effect from 1 July 2018, with the first payment to authors due to be paid in January 2020. The rate will be the same as physical books, which is currently at 7p (A$0.12) per loan.

There were four million ebook loans in the year to April 2016, with around two million titles currently available to be purchased by libraries. Hachette is the only major publisher not making their titles in available in this way.

Writer and Society of Authors (SoA) council member Joanne Trollope said the new law would make ‘a significant difference’ to many authors. ‘Some justice at last,’ Trollope said. ‘Of course, it is the successful writers who hit the headlines, but there are so many good but unshowy writers for whom PLR is of vital importance and for whom this legislation will make a significant difference.’

The SoA will now prioritise working with the PLR office to clarify the registration process, and press for the government to pay the PLR office for the costs of introducing the new scheme.

The minister for civil society Rob Wilson first announced the plan to extend PLR to ebooks in February.


Category: Library news International