Authors of ebooks to receive Public Lending Right payments for the first time

The British Library is pleased to announce that, as a result of a three-week consultation run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), changes will be made to Public Lending Right (PLR) that mean remote loans of ebooks and eaudio-books will be eligible for PLR payments for the first time.

Libraries Minister Michael Ellis said:

“We want to help our libraries thrive in the digital age.

“This legislation fulfils a manifesto commitment and recognises the exciting increase in e-lending. By extending the scheme we are ensuring authors are properly compensated as the e-book industry continues to grow into the future.”  

Tom Holland, Chair of the PLR Advisory Committee, said of the changes:

“It is excellent news that the Government is backing a PLR fit for the 21st century. This will be hugely to the benefit of authors, who are fully aware that printed books these days are not the only way of reaching their readers."

Tracy Chevalier, author and member of the British Library Board, said:

“Both reading habits and library loans are changing with new technology, and PLR legislation needs to keep pace with that change. Authors will be delighted to have PLR extended to remote ebook loans, as it will reflect the true nature of how our books are shared with the public.”

The changes will come into effect from 1 July 2018, with data on ebook loans being collected from this date and the first payments from the newly eligible loans being made in February 2020.

Authors wishing to register for ebooks for PLR should consult the PLR website on the registration of non-print material.


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The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.