PLR International Conference 2023: How can lending be improved in remuneration and transparency?
The 14th PLR International Conference took place from 12th to 14th of September 2023 in Brussels at La Maison Européenne des Auteurs et des Autrices (MEDAA), also EWC’s home base.
Over 60 international participants and representatives of authors and publishers’ associations as well as CMOs and RROs from Europe, South Africa, Australia, Latin America, Canada, the US and the UK discussed over two days the subject of public lending right:
What works, what not? A brief summary
How can lending be improved in remuneration and transparency? Which models serve within the different legal and cultural frameworks, and how can be an operational system be installed, to explore the best relation between authors, publishers, libraries, CMOs and readers? What kind of libraries can convince also the younger generation to commit to a life full of reading? And how can PLR be installed in those countries, who are still reluctant to commit to fairness and pay authors for the use of their works?
In an intense speech, EWC President Miguel Ángel Serrano described the situation of sometimes not sufficient remuneration of the PLR-Ecosystems in Europe. Nina George, Political Commissioner of the EWC, explained the Core of PLR from writers’ and translators’ perspective, and the need for a real fair remuneration for each use, not only a symbolic compensation. Carlo van Baelen, representative from the EWC Member The Flemish Authors Association, gave insights in the differences of the Belgian and the Dutch Models, while Julia Eccleshare of EWC Member The Society of Authors (UK) took a critical stock taking of the evolution of PLR in the United Kingdom.
On the second day of the Conference, Nina George guided through the panels. The Conference was joined by representatives of the European Commission and of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the French speaking Community of Belgium, as well as by Michelle Woods (WIPO), together with the splendid news, that WIPO Member States agreed on having a PLR Study on print books conducted and published latest in early autumn 2024.
Perspective: the WIPO Study on PLR
It took four years to negotiate within the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) of WIPO; the EWC continuously supported by written and verbal statements the proposal by the Delegations of Panama, Sierra Leone and Malawi, who initiated this study in preparation to install PLR in their respective countries. We are looking forward to be consulted as stakeholder to give insights on the situations and diverse frameworks within the European Sector.
Support & Program
The PLRI Conference was financially supported by Reprobel and Stichting Leenrecht, and coorganised by IFRRO, EWC, Stichting Leenrecht and the PLR International Steering Committee, in which EWC is a standing member since 2015.
About PLR International:
The Network of Authors’, Publishers’, Visual Artists’ and CMOs organisations exists since 1995 to encourage closer contacts between PLR systems across the world, but also provides a means to press for the introduction of PLR in countries where authors do not yet benefit from payments for the lending out of their books by public libraries. The EWC is since 2015 one of the standing members of the steering committee. The PLRI was founded by Jim Parker, Head of the UK’s Public Lending Right (PLR) office from 1991 to 2014.