Our submission to Public Lending Right consultation

We recently responded to a technical consultation on the Public Lending Right (PLR) Scheme.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport recently sought views on measures to improve the way that the PLR scheme is administered. The changes relate to the way books are sampled, allowing for more comprehensive data on library loans, and also removing the need for an application to register works in specific circumstances.

ALCS supports the Public Lending Right scheme and the important role it plays in ensuring authors are paid wherever their works are used. We hope that positive changes to the system could ensure that authors works are better counted and the process more streamlined.

While outside of the scope of this consultation, ALCS will continue to tell the Government that the size of the PLR fund should be increased. PLR is a simple and effective way in which the Government can support writers through these difficult times and do it fairly, in a targeted way at modest cost.

Over forty years ago, the UK led the world by introducing PLR as a way of rewarding writers for their contribution to the public good, when books are loaned from libraries. Funding for PLR, however, has been frozen for years and, at just £6m, is now just half that of Germany and France.

Increasing PLR funding would be a targeted way of sustaining writers and allowing more meaningful payments to a diversity of authors, beyond ‘best-sellers’, right across the UK. We hope in addition to improvements to the system for PLR payments, the Government will take the opportunity to increase the PLR fund.