On 9 December 2015, IFLA’s Governing Board approved an updated Statement on Public Lending Right (PLR) including a new section on eBooks. The updated statement identifies the complexities of considering  PLR for eBooks, reinforces the need to involve libraries when considering changes to PLR programs to incorporate digital content, incorporates additional considerations for developing countries, and updates legal references from the 2005 statement.

Why is this important

Public Lending Right (PLR) does not exist in many countries, and varies in its application from country to country where it does exist. PLR may be applied to two concepts:

  1. PLR may be a copyright that grants to the owner of a protected work the right to authorize or prohibit its public lending, through licensing and the payment of royalties to authors through collecting societies; or 
  2. a “remuneration right,” or right of the author to receive compensation for public lending of his or her work.

At this time, PLR does not apply to eBooks, however, this is under investigation in several countries. The restricted licensing models used for eBooks, the methods of online distribution, and the use of third party suppliers create new complexities for the lending of digital content. As a result, the statement identifies that “it is imperative that library representatives work closely with PLR staff and author representatives in shaping a defensible and logistically feasible application of PLR to digital content access through libraries.”

Read the full Statement in

More translations of the IFLA Statement on Public Lending Right to follow shortly.