On 5 June 2014 the UK Parliament passed the Public Lending Right Scheme 1982 (Commencement of Variations) Order 2014 (“Order“), implementing its obligations under the Rental and Lending Directive.

Under the Public Lending Right Scheme (“Scheme“), authors receive compensatory payments when printed copies of their books are loaned from public libraries in the UK. The Scheme is currently restricted to authors, editors and translators of printed books. However, the Order, which will come into force on 1 July 2014, extends the Scheme to cover audio-books loaned from a public library and e-books downloaded on library premises.

Producers and narrators of audio-books will also become eligible for payments under the Scheme, provided they can prove their eligibility in respect of the relevant audio-book, either by producing a written contract with the publisher, or by being credited within the audio-book itself.  Payments will also be made to those who become eligible posthumously.

Once the Order comes into force, any existing licenses and contracts between libraries and rights holders will be allowed to run their term, although the parties may agree to terminate such arrangements if they wish to join the expanded Scheme immediately.

In order to qualify for payments under the Scheme in 2016, rights holders must register their works with the Scheme between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015.

Rebekah Hayes and Alasdair Muller