Monday, September 24, 2007
Public Lending Right: World wide view
In Australia, we tend to take this right for granted, but in fact it is in place in only about 27 countries. The USA is not one of them.
European countries lead the way, and new countries admitted to membership of the EU have an obligation to introduce PLR as part of their membership of the EU.
Some of the Scandinavian countries have an issue with the EU since their PLR systems, like Australia's, aims to encourage their national literatures. The EU expects all of its members to pay PLR for all authors whose works are held in librraries. This has meant that some countries are now paying PLR to US authors, despite the fact the PLR does not exist in the USA.
At the same time, Australian authors are eligible for payment as well. The ASA is looking at acting as a central source for the collection of European PLR payments for Australian authors whose works are held in European libraries. I followed up this matter with the Authors Licensed Collecting Society (ALCS) in London after the PLR conference.
At present, there are no plans for Australia to pay PLR for any authors except those who are citizens of or resident in Australia.