Online only, so far

Public Lending Right now covers some e-book lending

THERE'S NOW another reason to join the Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme - if you haven't already done so. PLR makes payments to authors each time their book is lent via a public library. As of 1 July this year, this has now been extended to cover not just print format books lent by libraries but also "on-site e-book lending".

"On-site" lending means e-books downloaded on a library's premises for use away from library premises. In practice this usually happens when library users bring in their laptop or tablet to have a library copy of an e-book for loan downloaded on to their device at the counter.

E-books downloaded for loan via a library institution but outside the library's premises, such as via its website, are regrettably not covered. We understand, though, the UK Government has committed itself to "looking into the feasibility of changing copyright law to enable PLR to take in remote ebook loans", and "is seeking ways to overcome the legislative problems." associated with such an extension.

According the PLR Office, nearly all library e-book loans are currently "off-site". Their data suggest that 60 per cent of public libraries in England do e-book loans, with 0.4 per cent of total libary loans in that nation being e-book lending. (Library versions of e-books are accessible to the borrowing reader for a limited period only, and each library's copy of an e-book can only be lent to one reader at a time.)

Audio-book loans are also covered by PLR as of 1 July. Authors will get between 30 and 60 per cent of each PLR payment for the library loan, wih the remainder going to the narrator, producer, abridger or translator as applicable.

But don't expect any extra money yet for PLR money for your e-books and audio books that have been lent out at the library. The PLR's website says that they will start collecting "loans data" for audio-book and on-site e-book loans from 1 July, with the first "payments arising from loans of the new categories of works" being made in February 2016. For details, see here . If you have books (or chapters of books in an anthology) published, and you haven't yet signed up for PRL, do so here.

Last modified: 03 Jul 2014 - © 2014 contributors
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