Public lending right (P.L.R.)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Authors and illustrators of books are normally remunerated by royalties on the number of copies sold. Because sales are very much reduced by the loaning of books from public libraries, some compensation is given to authors and illustrators through the public lending right system. Legislation was introduced in 1979 and the system came into force in 1983; the first payments were made in February 1984. Under the scheme an approximation of the number of times a book is borrowed is arrived at on the basis of a sample of sixteen public libraries throughout the United Kingdom. Payments are made to authors, etc., in proportion to the number of times their books are borrowed, the amount paid being dependent on the total made available by parliament for distribution under the scheme. There is a lower payment limit of £1 and an upper limit of £5,000. In the first year, over 60 per cent of authors received less than £100 each.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary , 3rd edt.

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