Assigning / Renouncing PLR

handing over paper
You can assign or renounce titles registered for both the UK and Irish PLR schemes through the UK PLR office.

ASSIGNING PLR

PLR is a property right, which may be given away, sold or bequeathed. Further information regarding transferring/assigning PLR for the UK and Irish PLR scheme(s) is available in our Information Leaflet - UK and Irish Assignment and Posthumous Registration.

How can I notify you of a registered owner’s death?

You may contact us to advise of a registered owner’s death in writing, via email or telephone.  However, please note that it is necessary to complete an Application for Assignment (Transfer on Death) form and provide required documentation before PLR rights can be transferred to a new owner. Full details are available in our Information Leaflet - UK and Irish Assignment and Posthumous Registration.

What happens to my PLR earnings when I die?

For both the UK and Irish PLR schemes, the right to receive PLR continues for up to 70 years after the date of the original registered owner’s death.

To transfer PLR interests to a new owner (either individual or organisation), an Application for Assignment (Transfer on Death) form needs to be completed. This form can be used to transfer books which were registered for the UK scheme only, Irish scheme only, or for both schemes. You may transfer the rights which are registered for the UK or Irish scheme to different owners by completing two separate assignment forms.

The assignment form needs to be completed by the legal representative of the estate, and the new owner of the PLR (this can be the same person). The legal representative is named in the Will, Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration (Confirmation document in Scotland) and may be the Executor, Administrator or Beneficiary.

In order to transfer the PLR, we need to see copies of either the Will and Death Certificate or Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration or Confirmation document. These documents are retuned once we have recorded receipt.  If no documentation is available, the Next of Kin should provide a letter to confirm this.

It is possible to assign different books to more than one assignee.  A separate assignment form will need to be completed for each assignee, specifying which titles are to be assigned to them.  However, it is not possible to divide the PLR in one book between different assignees.

How should I refer to PLR in my Will?

PLR is separate from copyright and you should make clear provision in your Will for the disposition of the PLR in your books. Suggested wording is available in our Guide to Completing a Will.  However, we recommend you also seek advice from a solicitor.

Can I assign my PLR during my lifetime?

You may transfer PLR in all or some of your titles to an individual, organisation or charity.  Once you transfer your rights, you permanently give up your right to receive information on loans of the book(s) and any PLR earnings. You may assign titles which you have registered for the UK scheme only, Irish scheme only, or for both schemes by completing an Application for Assignment (Gift or Sale) form. You may transfer titles registered for the UK or Irish schemes to different owners by completing two separate assignment forms.

Only books which are already registered for PLR can be assigned.  You will therefore need to complete both a registration form and an assignment form for each unregistered title which you wish to assign. Books which are already registered do not need to be re-applied for in order to assign them. You may assign all or some of your registered titles. If you do not wish to assign all of your titles, please specify which titles you want to assign on the assignment form.

Alternatively, you may retain your right in PLR but specify that payment is to be made to someone else by providing their payment details. You can amend your payment details using our online form (if you are registered for the UK PLR scheme) or in writing (see our contact us page).

What am I entitled to as an assignee?

As an assignee, you legally own the Public Lending Right in the author's books that have been assigned to you. You will automatically receive all PLR correspondence and payments relating to the books. The PLR in a book continues for up to 70 years after the original registered owner’s death.

Assignees may transfer their PLR rights to another individual or organisation if they wish, by completing an Application for Assignment (Gift or Sale) form. In the event of an assignee’s death, the PLR rights will be transferred to a new owner as specified in their will or by the executors of their estate (providing that there were no joint owners of the PLR).

There is no limit to the number of times PLR can be transferred, providing the transfers fall within the 70 year period. However, once you transfer your PLR interests in a book to a new owner, you permanently give up your right to receive information on loans of the book and any PLR payments arising from these.

Can PLR be transferred to more than one person?

For both the UK and Irish schemes, PLR can be transferred to a group of up to four people. They will jointly own the whole of the assigned PLR rather than owning individual shares in it.

For the purposes of the scheme, the first named of the joint owners shall be deemed the senior and will receive correspondence and payments on behalf of all the joint owners to be distributed as agreed between the group.

If the senior assignee dies or gives up his interest in PLR, the Right will become the property of the remaining joint owners. The first named of the remaining group will be deemed the senior. The right of survivorship will continue until only one of the original joint owner’s remains. The final owner can dispose of the Right as they wish.

Any changes to the original transfer document must be supported by the authority of all the joint owners.


RENOUNCING PLR

What does it mean to renounce my PLR rights?

If you renounce your PLR rights you are requesting to remove the specified titles from the register. This means that you no longer receive any loans information or payments on the renounced books.

How do I renounce my PLR rights?

You may renounce some or all of your registered titles for either the UK or Irish PLR scheme(s). In order to renounce you should complete an Application to Renounce Registered Interests form.

Why do people renounce their PLR rights?

People usually renounce their rights when their registered titles are no longer recording any borrowings. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the UK PLR scheme operates a sample of authorities which is rotated each year. Writers of local interest books for example, may experience fluctuation  in borrowings depending on the libraries which are included in the sample.  Further details regarding the sample can be found in the Library information section.

Can I register for PLR again?

Renouncing your PLR rights does not affect any future applications to register for PLR.  You may therefore apply to register for PLR again should you have any books published after you have renounced your rights.

Can I re-register books which I have renounced?

You may apply to re-register books which you have renounced by submitting an application. Please refer to Applying for PLR for details.

Can I renounce books that have been assigned to me?

You may renounce books which have been assigned to you (ie the rights have been transferred to you on the death of the original registered owner, or assigned as a gift).   In order to renounce you should complete an Application to Renounce Registered Interests form.


Registration service (UK & Irish PLR)

How to apply for PLR, information on eligibility and payments

Applying for PLR

How to apply for UK and Irish PLR and advice on eligibility, including frequently asked questions

PLR forms and leaflets

Application forms with guidance notes and information leaflets can be found here

Registration of non-print material

Advice on registration and eligibility of non-print material (audio-books, ebooks, e-audio books)

PLR payments

Advice on PLR payments including payment dates, amending details, statements, income tax, VAT, collecting societies

Posthumous applications

Information on making first time and subsequent posthumous applications (following transfer of PLR to new owner)

PLR news stories

UK PLR payments update

1 February 2019

Over 22,000 authors have received a payment through UK PLR

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

3 December 2018

Writer and translator Daniel Hahn appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

Most borrowed authors and books in UK libraries

27 July 2018

The latest annual data shows the most borrowed authors and books in UK public libraries during 2016-17

Advisory Committee for PLR - new member

11 June 2018

Writer and illustrator Alexis Deacon appointed to the PLR Advisory Committee

More news stories

PLR case studies

…“The financial support is invaluable – translators don’t always get a royalty so PLR is really precious. Equally important is the symbolic recognition of our stake in a book. While it is taken for granted that an author has a stake in a book it is not always remembered that a translator does too.”…

Daniel Hahn, translator and writer, registered for PLR on the publication of his first translation. He values highly the existence of the built-in PLR share to which all translators are entitled. Having translated 35 books and written several others since 2007, Daniel outlined his career as a translator and how he works.

…“I expected pennies and I got pounds! Quite a few more than I had expected. How many times in somebodies life do you get something for nothing?”…

Audio-book narrator Jeff Harding, registered for his PLR share in an astonishing 658 audio books when the extension of UK PLR to non-print material was first introduced in July 2014. He currently has over 700 titles registered. Jeff describes the skills of narration and explains what PLR means to him.

…Tracy Chevalier, Alexis Deacon and S F Said tells us why it is important that contributors register for PLR, how easy it is to apply and the value of PLR to them.…

Watch our short video in which authors Tracy Chevalier and S F Said and writer / illustrator Alexis Deacon talk about why eligible contributors should register for payment through the government-funded PLR scheme.