The IAF notes the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 10 November 2016 clarifying that the requirement under EU law for authors to receive compensation for loans of their books by public libraries may also extend to the lending of ebooks. The ruling acknowledges the important point that any system of e-lending should aim to replicate the restrictions applicable to loans of hard copy works, such as the principle of “one copy, one user”. It is important that frictions are kept in place to make the lending of ebooks possible, as is set out in this ruling.
IAF members, the Society of Authors and ALCS have been campaigning for the inclusion of e-lending in Public Lending Right in the United Kingdom. When this was last raised in Parliament, the Minister for Culture Matthew Hancock MP understandably made clear the need to see the CJEU ruling. Now that the ruling is available we hope that the Government will take the earliest legislative opportunity to include the remote lending of ebooks within the Public Lending Right scheme.