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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Authors face royalty threat from volunteer libraries (UK)

The UK government is facing anger from authors shocked to discover that they are not entitled to royalties for books borrowed from libraries run by "big society"- inspired volunteers. Such libraries are mushrooming as community groups are forced to step in to save their local libraries from closing as a result of spending cuts. The Society of Authors (SoA) warns that authors may take legal action against the government over copyright infringement on loaned books. Under Public Lending Right (PLR) legislation, authors are paid each time their books are borrowed from a library. Although the sum is a mere 6p a loan, with a £6,000 cap, it can make all the difference to authors, whose earnings average £5,000 a year. But PLR, as currently defined, applies only to public libraries. Writers fear their earnings will dwindle as more libraries become voluntary - The Guardian

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