Canada Council Releases New Reports on the Public Lending Right Program

The Canada Council for the Arts has released the third and final of three reports commissioned over the past two years from author and arts consultant Roy MacSkimming on the Council’s Public Lending Right program. The reports document the opportunities and challenges facing the program in light of changes in publishing, library practices and new technology, and all three are now available on the Council’s website.

The first report, The Policy Foundations of Public Lending Right in Canada, was released in 2011 and tracks the origins of the program’s formal objective “to compensate authors for the use of their works through Canadian libraries.” The second report, Canada’s Public Lending Right Program: Program Design, International Comparisons, and the Impact of Technology , was released in 2012 and sheds light on how the Canadian program compares internationally in setting compensation, defining who is an author, measuring use, identifying works, and delineating libraries.

The third report is entitled Public Lending Right Program: Options for Renewal and outlines current realities and possible future directions for the program.

“The Public Lending Right program, its origins and its significance to Canadians are not as well-known as they deserve,” said Canada Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman. “The release of these papers helps fill this gap, and we commend Roy MacSkimming for his excellent work in setting the scene for the next stage in the program’s evolution.”

“The members of the Public Lending Right Commission thank the Canada Council for the Arts for having commissioned these reports,” said Aline Apostolska, Chair of the Commission. “They are and will continue to be very important for us in the context of our deliberations on the future of the program.”  

The Public Lending Right program was established by the Canada Council in 1986 and is guided in its design and administration by the Public Lending Right Commission, composed primarily of writers, librarians and book publishers and specifically created for this purpose. The program has an annual budget of $10 million and last year issued payments to over 18,000 eligible authors, illustrators and translators. 

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