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Government Response to the Consultation on the extension of the Public Lending Right to Rights Holders of e-books and audio-books.
The PLR is the right of authors to receive compensatory payment for the loans of their printed books from public libraries in the UK. A government consultation was undertaken in 2009 on the extension of PLR to rights holders in non-print formats.
This informed the provisions in the Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA 2010) which amended the PLR Act 1979 so that the term ‘book’ includes audio and e-book.
One of the recommendations made by William Sieghart in his ‘Independent Review of E-lending in English Public Libraries’ was that the government should enact those provisions. The Spending Round 2015/16 resulted in funding for PLR being protected and the 2014-15 levels being maintained in 2015-16.
This was specifically to implement and deliver the extension of the PLR scheme to onsite loans of e-books and audiobooks, as provided for in the DEA 2010. Section 43 of the DEA contains provisions to extend the PLR Act 1979 so that the term ‘book’ includes audio-book and e-book and the term ‘author’, in the case of a work recorded as a sound recording, includes a producer or narrator.