Digital Lending Right

What's the situation?

Australian books held in public and educational libraries are subject to lending right payments – a federal government scheme that makes payments to eligible Australian creators and publishers in recognition of income lost through the free multiple use of their work. The Public Lending Right (PLR) and Educational Lending Right (ELR) schemes were established in 1975 and 2000 after successful campaigning by the ASA.

However, despite the government's recognition of creators' right to lending right payments, the scheme has so far not been extended to ebooks and audiobooks, yet library users' take-up of ebooks and audiobooks is increasing.

What should change?

All major political parties have already made an in-principle commitment to introduce Digital Lending Right to our federal lending right schemes. We at the ASA urge the government to follow through on this commitment by taking action to make Digital Lending Right a reality for Australia's authors and publishers.

What's the ASA doing?

In November 2016 the ASA had a positive meeting in Canberra with a representative of the Communications Minister, whose portfolio encompasses lending rights. The ASA is in the process of formulating our recommendations as to exactly how Digital Lending Right should operate in practice. We expect to be making our recommendations known by the middle of 2017.

What can you do?

If you haven't already, consider joining the ASA. The ASA's lobbying efforts in Canberra would not be possible without our members' support. The more voters we can show we represent, the clearer our voice will be heard by the politicians with the power to make change.

Join today

Alternatively, if you're already a member or prefer to contribute without joining the ASA, you can donate to our Endowment Fund. Donations to the Endowment Fund go directly towards supporting the ASA to lobby and campaign for the rights and professional interests of authors and illustrators.

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© 2017 Australian Society of Authors (ASA)