On the 2nd of September, around 40 IFRRO members took part in a virtual meeting to discuss PLR-related issues.
Kurt Van Damme, Chair of IFRRO’s Public Lending Right Forum, moderated the meeting. The meeting opened with a presentation by Barbara Hayes, Chair of the Steering Committee of Public Lending Right International, reporting on the many initiatives undertaken by the network since November 2019. These include the publication of a number of advocacy documents in different languages (available here), work done at national level to promote PLR, support to Member States wishing to address PLR within WIPO, and a successful transition from now retired PLR Coordinator Jim Parker to two new coordinators.
The second part of the meeting was dedicated to national developments. Paula Browning of CLNZ and George Zannos of OSDEL reported, respectively, about the changes to the PLR legislation in New Zealand and the implementation of PLR in Greece.
In the third and final part of the meeting, three PLR experts – Nina George of EWC, Anne Bergman of FEP and Arjen Polman of Stichting Leenrecht – were invited to share their thoughts on the lending of e-books. While the national situations differ, it is clear that the lending of e-books should not compete or be detrimental to the sales of e-books and to licensing opportunities. There are ways through which e-books lent out can be accounted for in PLR payments, but this should always be as a payment for the usage of e-books and not as an exception to copyright.