NEWS ARCHIVE 2010
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CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS
The office will close at midday on 24 December, and re-open on 4 January 2011. Any online transactions (including login applications) which are submitted after 24 December will not be dealt with until the office re-opens on 4 January.
FEBRUARY 2011 RATE PER LOAN AND PAYMENTS UPDATE
The Registrar has recommended a Rate Per Loan of 6.25 pence to Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for the February 2011 PLR payments to authors. This is a little lower than last year’s Rate of 6.29 pence and reflects a 3% reduction in funding for DCMS-sponsored bodies this year and an increase in the number of public library book loans qualifying for PLR.
DCMS would like to hear from authors and other interested parties on the proposed decrease in the Rate Per Loan. Fuller details of the consultation can be found on the DCMS website. DCMS is requesting responses within eight weeks (by 27 December 2010).
The Rate Per Loan consultation means that the distribution of payment statements will be delayed until the end of January to allow time for the Rate Per Loan to receive parliamentary approval following the consultation. Payments are now likely to be made during the week commencing 14 February, rather than the 7th as is usual. We will confirm these dates nearer the time.
FUTURE PLR FUNDING ANNOUNCED
Government funding for PLR for the next four years was announced yesterday following the Comprehensive Spending Review.
The funding currently provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) stands at £7.45 million. This will be reduced by 15% over the four year period as follows:
In the context of the government’s wider Comprehensive Spending Review we feel that this is a reasonable settlement.
The government also announced that it would not be extending PLR at this time to ebooks and audio books as enabled by the Digital Economy Act earlier in the year.
We await a decision on which body will be assuming responsibility for PLR following the government announcement last week that the present organisation is to be abolished and responsibility for PLR transferred to another body.
ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE FUTURE OF PLR
The government announced today that as part of the current government-wide review intended to reduce the number and cost of arms length public bodies, the current PLR body will be abolished and the statutory responsibility for administering the PLR Scheme will be transferred to another existing publicly-funded body. The choice of body to take over these functions is subject to ongoing discussions but as an organisation operating at arm's length from government it will have the same independence as the current PLR office. PLR will continue to enjoy its status as a legal right for authors and future funding will be ring-fenced.
The government intends to achieve the transfer of functions through the forthcoming Public Bodies Bill and the transfer process will be completed during 2011-12. This will include consultations with authors' organisations. Until then the PLR operation remains unaffected.
PLR funding for the next four years will be determined by the current government Comprehensive Spending Review and an announcement will be made about this later this month.
We will provide further information as it becomes available but in the meantime if you have any queries or concerns about future PLR arrangements, please contact the Registrar at the PLR office (tel: 01642 604699; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
IRISH PLR - CLOSING DATE
The closing date for receipt of new PLR registration forms for the Irish PLR year 2010 is Tuesday 31 August 2010 at 5.00pm. Further information is available on the Irish PLR website.
Please note that applications must be sent directly to the Irish PLR office.
The new Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced the savings in public spending that are to be found from the DCMS budget this year. All bodies sponsored by DCMS are to have their funding reduced by 3%. In PLR's case, this equates to some £230,000. It is too early in the year to predict the likely impact on the Rate Per Loan and on the payments to authors to be made in February 2011. But we shall be doing all that we can at PLR to find further savings in the running costs of the Scheme to help offset the overall reduction in PLR funding. Decisions on funding for the next three years (2011-14) will be made by Minsters in the autumn after the government completes its spending review.
30 JUNE REMINDER
Books must be registered by 30 June 2010 in order to be credited with loans recorded since 1 July 2009. You can apply to register your published titles online or via an application form. Alternatively we can post forms on request.
Online applications must be submitted by midnight on 30 June to be included in the year end calculations. Postal applications must also be received by no later than 30 June.
DIGITAL ECONOMY ACT AND PLR
Under the Digital Economy Act, passed in April 2010, PLR is to be extended to include public library loans of audio books and certain categories of ebooks. To introduce these changes the PLR legislation will have to be amended, and we look forward to working with DCMS on this. We will advise authors when we are able to accept applications to register audio and ebooks. In the meantime, registration is restricted to books which are ‘printed and bound’.
GOVERNMENT REVIEW PROPOSES NEW PLR ARRANGEMENTS
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published the results of its review of public libraries. It includes plans to set up a new strategic body for the library sector in England bringing together the functions of the Registrar of PLR, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and the Advisory Council on Libraries. The proposal is part of DCMS's drive to modernise and rationalise operational arrangements for the public bodies that it sponsors. The next step will be for the Government to undertake a business case in consultation with stakeholders and to publish more detail as part of its broader review of publicly-funded arms-length bodies. The libraries review can be found on the DCMS website.
For the moment, it's business as usual at the PLR office and we will make authors aware of details of the government's plans for PLR as they emerge. In the meantime, if you have any queries or comments please contact the PLR office.
PLR REVEALS THE MOST BORROWED AUTHORS AND BOOKS
Jacqueline Wilson is the most borrowed author of the last decade it was announced this morning.
The loans data collected by PLR comes from libraries across the UK and provides a unique insight into the nation’s book borrowing tastes.
The Media Centre provides more details of the most popular authors and books in UK libraries across a range of subject categories during 2008-09 and over the last decade.
ANNUAL STATEMENTS AND PAYMENTS
The Rate Per Loan has now been confirmed and has increased for the first time in three years to 6.29 pence.
The current timetable is as follows (any changes will be communicated if this timetable is affected):
Online statements will be available to view on 6 January 2010. An email will be sent to those who have an activated online account to advise that their statement is available. Users may then log into their secure online account to view/print their statement.
Paper statements will be posted second class on 6 January 2010 to those who do not have an online account. Please note that you will only receive a statement if you are due to receive a payment (ie if your books earn £1 or more). This is to reduce administration and postage costs - online statements will still be available regardless of the amount earned.
Payments will be made during the week commencing 8 February 2010. Please ensure that your bank details are up to date to prevent delay in receiving your payment. Cheques will be posted second class on 8 February.
Please note that we are unable to accept changes to either address or bank details via email.
Digital PLR Update
Proposals to extend PLR to audio books and ebooks lent out by public libraries are included in the Digital Economy Bill which is currently going through Parliament. The Bill had its second reading in the House of Lords in December and will now proceed to Committee stage.
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