New for 2019 - Audiobooks are now eligible for PLR Registration

Content Separator

In recognition of the growing popularity and demand for literary audiobooks in Canadian public libraries, the Public Lending Right Program will open registration this year to credited authors, translators, and narrators who have participated in the creation of an audiobook. Eligible genres include works of fiction, non-fiction, children’s literature, poetry, and scholarly work. Educational, practical, or instructional audiobooks are not eligible.

The Public Lending Right Commission is pleased to provide an additional opportunity for creators of literary content to benefit from the PLR Program. Eligible audiobooks published between January 1, 2014 and May 1, 2019 can be registered as new titles in 2019, and will be included in the upcoming public library catalogue searches. The initial payments to audiobook contributors are scheduled for delivery in February, 2020. For authors and translators of print and ebooks whose work has been adapted to create a new experience for listeners, the registration of audiobooks with PLR offers the chance to be further recognized and paid.

The addition of audiobooks to the PLR Program has been made possible by the Canada Council’s transformative investment of new funds to the program’s payment budget. A total of $5 million in additional funds will be added to the PLR budget by 2020. The PLR Commission’s decision to admit audiobooks is aligned with evolving patterns of public use and enjoyment of literary materials through libraries, and is reflective of the growing popularity of digital formats.

In order to register a claim for PLR compensation, eligible contributors must be clearly credited as authors, translators, or narrators of audiobooks. Eligible audiobook formats include physical media (CD) and digital downloads (MP3). All eligible audiobooks must have a 13-digit ISBN and be available to the general public through libraries. Eligible audiobooks can have up to 6 credited contributors.

The PLR Commission has endorsed a payment formula for audiobooks that reflects the program’s established means of compensating adapted works and translations. The creator or creators of source text that has been adapted for an audiobook will be eligible to receive up to 50% of the overall payment. The contributor or contributors of the narration which animates the audiobook experience for the listener will be eligible to receive up to 50% of the overall payment. If an author has performed the narration of their own work, they will be eligible to receive up to 100% of any PLR compensation.

PLR Audiobook registration forms are available between February 15 and May 1, during the annual registration period.