News

Public Lending Right 'not given in volunteer-run libraries'

Public Lending Right registrar Jim Parker has said that under existing legislation, PLR payments to authors for their library loans will not apply to books loaned by volunteer-run libraries which are no longer run by local authorities.

In a response to a query from Lewisham library campaigners, Parker said: "Under the PLR legislation, PLR only applies to public libraries administered by local library authorities as defined by the Public Libraries Act (1964). This, therefore, would exclude library branches no longer run by the local authority and taken over by voluntary groups." However Parker said it would be a "grey area" in locations where local authorities were allowing volunteers to run branches while still remaining under their umbrella.

Parker added that wider questions were also raised wider questions about what should be done about remuneration for authors in such cases. "My understanding is that under the UK's copyright legislation book lending is a copyright act and a licence may be needed - except where PLR applies. In the past all public library lending was covered by PLR. But if we are to see more branch libraries dropping out of the statutory service and being reconstituted as privately-run libraries the government may want to look again at the existing legislation," he said.

Nicola Solomon, general secretary of the Society of Authors, said: "If PLR isn't being paid by a library then the library has to pay for that use of copyright in another way or it is infringing copyright. If we saw libraries that weren't paying PLR, we'd want them to be paying something analogous as recompense to authors. We'd have to do think about how to do it and how to enforce it."

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Slow news day? Bit sad to see the Society of Authors drawn into a trap baited with red herring. No libraries pay PLR, they merely provide the statistical sample upon which the Public Lending Right (PLR) office calculates the payments to authors they make from government funds for the use of books borrowed from public libraries.

Public Lending Right gives authors a payment for each loan of their titles made through the public library service and is an important and much valued source of recompense for their work. If a large swathe of libraries move into volunteer management and the result of that is that they are no longer active participants in the PLR system, it is right to alert authors to this development, just as it is right for the Society of Authors to express its concerns, and for the PLR registrar Jim Parker to point out that changes to the legislation will probably be required.

Benedicte Page was correct to report that there are a number of unresolved legal issues associated with volunteer-run libraries. Nicola Solomon, General Secretary of the Society of Authors was also correct in commenting that such libraries may fall out of the collection of data from authorised library authorities. Some of these issues have been raised by the Registrar of PLR and the MLA before its closure highlighted others in a report. I am sure that the Parliamentary Select Committee will be looking further at these as will the DCMS and ACE.

I would be grateful for information as to whom one should contact about this question as we are starting a volunteer library in our village which will be replacing the now stopped, mobile library. All the books are donated but we do get a bit of help from the Councils, both Parish and County, for shelving, rent of a room and so on. If I remember PLR is collected on information from a sample of libraries round the country and not from every library, so I imagine our small scale bit of lending will not skew the figures.
However I am concerned by the "otherwise" in "...it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent..." or does this only apply if it is recovered in some way?

I would be grateful for information as to whom one should contact about this question as we are starting a volunteer library in our village which will be replacing the now stopped, mobile library. All the books are donated but we do get a bit of help from the Councils, both Parish and County, for shelving, rent of a room and so on. If I remember PLR is collected on information from a sample of libraries round the country and not from every library, so I imagine our small scale bit of lending will not skew the figures.
However I am concerned by the "otherwise" in "...it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent..." or does this only apply if it is recovered in some way?

Slow news day? Bit sad to see the Society of Authors drawn into a trap baited with red herring. No libraries pay PLR, they merely provide the statistical sample upon which the Public Lending Right (PLR) office calculates the payments to authors they make from government funds for the use of books borrowed from public libraries.

Public Lending Right gives authors a payment for each loan of their titles made through the public library service and is an important and much valued source of recompense for their work. If a large swathe of libraries move into volunteer management and the result of that is that they are no longer active participants in the PLR system, it is right to alert authors to this development, just as it is right for the Society of Authors to express its concerns, and for the PLR registrar Jim Parker to point out that changes to the legislation will probably be required.

Benedicte Page was correct to report that there are a number of unresolved legal issues associated with volunteer-run libraries. Nicola Solomon, General Secretary of the Society of Authors was also correct in commenting that such libraries may fall out of the collection of data from authorised library authorities. Some of these issues have been raised by the Registrar of PLR and the MLA before its closure highlighted others in a report. I am sure that the Parliamentary Select Committee will be looking further at these as will the DCMS and ACE.

I would be grateful for information as to whom one should contact about this question as we are starting a volunteer library in our village which will be replacing the now stopped, mobile library. All the books are donated but we do get a bit of help from the Councils, both Parish and County, for shelving, rent of a room and so on. If I remember PLR is collected on information from a sample of libraries round the country and not from every library, so I imagine our small scale bit of lending will not skew the figures.
However I am concerned by the "otherwise" in "...it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent..." or does this only apply if it is recovered in some way?

I would be grateful for information as to whom one should contact about this question as we are starting a volunteer library in our village which will be replacing the now stopped, mobile library. All the books are donated but we do get a bit of help from the Councils, both Parish and County, for shelving, rent of a room and so on. If I remember PLR is collected on information from a sample of libraries round the country and not from every library, so I imagine our small scale bit of lending will not skew the figures.
However I am concerned by the "otherwise" in "...it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent..." or does this only apply if it is recovered in some way?