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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Authors and literary profits: public lending right

The Public Lending Right Act 1979 gives authors the right to payment from a central fund for the use made of their books when borrowed by members of the public from public libraries.

To qualify for payment of public lending right (PLR), authors must register their books with the Registrar of PLR. The maximum amount an author can receive in any one year is £6,600, but most receive substantially less.

PLR can be assigned in the same way as copyright and expires at the same time, usually fifty years from the end of the calendar year in which an author dies.

PLR is treated in the same way as copyright for tax purposes.