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PLR to extend to ebooks and audio in UK

In the UK, Public Lending Rights (PLR) will be extended to include ebooks and audiobooks borrowed from libraries, reports the Bookseller.

Effective from 1 July, the change means authors will be eligible for payment when their works are borrowed in electronic or audio formats, in the same way as they are with physical books.

Provisions to extend PLR to ebooks and audiobooks in the UK were included in 2017’s Digital Economy Act, but further secondary legislation was required before the changes could be implemented, said the UK Society of Authors (SoA).

The UK is one of the first countries to extend its library lending compensation scheme to remote e-lending, with the level of electronic lending in UK public libraries rising dramatically over the past six years. Last year, more than 6.75 million works were borrowed electronically, compared to just 750,000 in 2011-12.

SoA CEO Nicola Solomon said: ‘We are thrilled that the extension of PLR to e-lending has finally been given the green light. PLR is a vital source of income for many authors, and it is only right that the same rules apply to e-lending as to the lending of physical books.’

The UK’s PLR scheme, managed by the British Library on behalf of the government, sees more than £6 million (A$10.6m) of payments made to 22,000 authors, illustrators, photographers, translators and rights holders each year.

As previously reported, the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) launched a campaign in 2017 urging the federal government to extend the PLR and Educational Lending Right (ELR) schemes in Australia to include loans of ebooks and digital audiobooks.

 

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Category: International news

 

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