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ASA urges government to extend PLR scheme to ebooks, audiobooks

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) has written to communications minister Mitch Fifield urging the government to extend the Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR) schemes to include loans of ebooks and digital audiobooks from public libraries.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the UK became the first country in the world to include remote loans in its PLR scheme when it passed the Digital Economy Act 2017 in May.

The ASA, which met with a representative from Fifield’s office in November last year, said that ‘it makes no sense’ for a writer to receive PLR payments for a physical book but nothing for digital loans, adding that it ‘discriminates against those writers who publish exclusively in digital format and ignores the ways in which library users are accessing content’.

‘Today’s libraries offer access to thousands of ebooks and e-audio books and those thousands of free loans are not caught by the current PLR and ELR schemes, despite the clear policy intention that the scheme ought to compensate creators for the loss of income caused by these loans,’ said ASA CEO Juliet Rogers.

The ASA’s letter to Fifield can be viewed here.


Category: Local news