The Government has renegaded on the Digital Economy Act, which was enabled under the Labour Government, to allow authors to receive Public Lending Rights (PLR) on e book and audio book loans. It is hoped that the Society of Authors (SoA) will continue to lobby the government on this issue particularly in light of the fact they have already recognised PLR to be a legal right of the authors.
The PLR budget is to be reduced by 7% over the next four years as part of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review. The cuts will see the fund reduced from £7.45m in the 2010/11 fiscal year to £6.956m by 2013/14. However, the PLR, the administrative body which has operated effectively and efficiently for over thirty years is to be abolished as part of the cuts.
The Society of Authors commented: "While any reduction in spending on PLR is much to be regretted, at first sight it appears that PLR has fared relatively well, certainly compared with many other organisations sponsored by the Department for Culture Media and Sport."
Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state, had heeded the representations made to him by the society and other organisations. The SoA added, "He has recognised that PLR is a legal right and is one of the department’s ‘front line’ services which ought to be given priority." The SoA said it remained "opposed to the dotty proposal that PLR should be transferred to another body".