Australia/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.4 Literature and libraries

Public Lending Right Act

The Public Lending Right Act was enacted in 1985.  Despite this, the Public Lending Right Schemehad been in operation since it was approved by the then-Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, in 1974.  The scheme was modelled on that which was already in operation in Sweden in the 1950s, and was the subject of intense lobbying by members of the Australian Society of Authors.  Through the Scheme, authors and publishers are compensated for revenue foregone when books that are for sale are also available for lending through a public library.  Claimants are required to be Australian citizens, books must have an ISBN, and authors must be entitled to a royalty when their books are sold.  Publishers must be in the business, and the book being claimed for must be for sale. 

The Scheme is now administered by the Office for the Arts, having been briefly the responsibility of the Australia Council from 1976 until 1980

Chapter published: 27-12-2013