©WIPO. Photo: Emmanuel Berrod
On 28 November, Public Lending Right International organised a side event at the WIPO headquarters where a panel discussion and presentations highlighting the vital importance of public lending right (PLR) for authors and the creative economy took place. The event’s objective was to raise awareness about PLR schemes in which authors get paid for the free lending of their works by libraries. The opening speech was made by the Minister of Justice of Malawi, which will become the first African country to implement public lending right, followed by a panel discussion with representatives from Finland, Malawi, Poland and Tanzania, moderated by the UK ambassador to the United Nations and WIPO in Geneva. A packed room listened carefully to the discussions and, following the event, many participants expressed interest in developing a public lending right scheme in their own country.