IAF’s concern with the PLR scheme in Romania

Athanasios VenitsanopoulosNews, PLR

Barbara Hayes, IAF’s Company Secretary as well as Chair of the PLR International Steering Committee, and Jim Parker, Co-ordinator of PLR International, joined a delegation of the above-mentioned Steering Committee in Romania to see first-hand the issues affecting Romanian authors and visual artists concerning the current Romanian Public Lending Right (PLR) scheme.

Romania is one of the few EU member states that have not fully implemented the lending right provisions of the EU Rental and Lending Right Directive first implemented in 1992. As a result, authors, visual artists and other rightsholders do not receive payment for the lending out of their books by public libraries in Romania. For authors in Romania, a country with such a rich literary heritage and well-established public library system, to continue to be deprived of their lending rights is, of course, unacceptable.

IAF wholeheartedly supports the new proposal to amend Romanian copyright law to enable authors and other rightsholders to be remunerated for the lending out of their works in public libraries and has expressed its support of this to the Romanian Government. We noted that while the current Romanian copyright legislation and its provisions on lending rights effectively exempt public libraries from any PLR obligation, the exemption of public libraries from PLR has been the subject of several judgments delivered in the European Courts and deemed an improper implementation of the 2006 Lending Right Directive.

As a result of this incorrect implementation of PLR, several commercial enterprises have been established to ‘fill the gap’ and offer the loan of books as a public lending service. This is something PLR International is working at national and European level to address this concern.