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International Public Lending Right (iPLR): our work so far

Members of the International Authors Forum will recall that in November 2016 we put on a side event at the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva introducing Public Lending Right to the WIPO delegates. The idea was to make them aware of this concept which remains mainly a European phenomenon (forgive us Australia, Canada, Israel and New Zealand!) and encourage the delegates to start the conversation about PLR in their own countries.

July 2017: IAF’s Barbara Hayes (right) accompanies Barbara Jóźwiak (left) from Copyright Polska  in her visit to the Ministerstwo Kultury I Dziedzictwa Narodowego (the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage) in Warsaw, Poland, where PLR was discussed.

Over the last year we have been looking at ways of promoting PLR as widely as possible and have teamed up with the International Federation of Reprographic Rights Organisation (IFRRO) of which IAF is a member to create a Steering Committee. IFRRO kindly changed their constitution so that each CMO who administers PLR now pays additional fees to aid the work of the PLR International Steering Committee. The Committee consists of two members nominated by IAF, two members nominated by EWC, two members nominated by publishers and two members nominated by IFRRO. The Committee membership for the next 2 years is:

International Authors Forum:
Barbara Hayes, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS)(Chair)
Carola Streul, European Visual Artists (EVA)

European Writers Council:
Trond Andreassen, The Norwegian Non-fiction Writers And Translators Association aka Norsk faglitterær forfatter-og oversetterforening (NFF)
Anne Salomaa, Sanasto. Finland

Anne Bergman, Federation of European Publishers
Jose Borghino, International Publishers Association

Caroline Morgan (Vice Chair and Treasurer)
Christian Roblin, SOFIA

The Committee has so far met four times to identify our priorities and develop a work plan. Priorities include working towards full implementation of the Lending Right Directive across Europe where four Member States still have no PLR system in place; seeking improvements in existing PLR systems in Member States which are poorly funded or dysfunctional; and supporting PLR campaigns outside of Europe in countries like Hong Kong and Malaysia. We have also been developing the programme for the PLR International Conference which will be held in Paris from 25-27 September 2017. A separate update from the conference also appears in this newsletter.

Relationship building

During the course of this year we have also met with IFLA to discuss ways we can work together to support the concept of PLR and the principle of payment coming from government (and not library) budgets. We hope to hear from them shortly as to whether we can develop a joint statement of support.

We have also been talking with WIPO delegates to see if we can drum up support for PLR and payments to appear in their discussions. This may be something we ask you as our members to help with if we can progress this.

And we have met with the European Commission to discuss options available regarding fully implementing the Lending and Rental Directive which has still not been fully implemented across Europe and it is good to know that the Commission and PLR International have broadly the same agenda to achieve this so we hope to help each other with our goals.