Ireland: EWC Member Irish Writers’ Union on the importance of PLR


Posted on February 09, 2020, 11:00 pm
2 mins

Public Lending Right: A life saver?

By Roy Hunt. Public Lending Right or Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) is a small payment to authors every time their book is borrowed from a library. The payment is made annually. The finance for PLR comes from government. The concept of PLR is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in which authors are entitled to expect income from any use of their work. If you are an author, illustrator, or translator living in a country that has a PLR scheme then you should avail of it: in many cases, PLR is an author’s biggest source of income.  Some categories of books (such as romance) are borrowed more than purchased, so PLR is of huge importance to these authors.

Since the 1992 Directive on Rental and Lending Right (reconstituted in 2006), EU member states are required by law to provide authors with an exclusive right to lend out their works or provide them with remuneration for the lending out of their works.

PLR gives authors and other rights-holders, ‘an exclusive right to licence or prohibit the lending of their works by libraries’…[unless] they remunerate rights-holders for the loan of their works.’

UK author Maureen Duffy, one of the original campaigners for PLR, says:

First and foremost, PLR upholds the principle of “no use without payment” … It supports the creation of new work.


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