Brief history of the Public Lending Right program

1946 The world’s first library compensation program is developed in Denmark.
1949 The Canadian Authors Association starts to discuss the possibility of a Public Lending Right (PLR) program in Canada.
1951 The Massey-Lévesque Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences reports on two Special Studies it had requested in the subject of Canadian literature. The two authors of the studies, reporting respectively on English- and French-language literature, are in agreement: “Neither in French nor in English have we yet a truly national literature.
1973 The Writers’ Union of Canada begins to lobby for a PLR program.
1977 The Canada Council sets up the Payment for Public Use Committee to examine the creation of a PLR program.
1982 The Applebaum-Hébert Committee recommends that the government establish a program to provide payment for library use.
1986 The PLR Program is established by a Cabinet decision in March 1986, with an initial budget of $3 million allocated to it by Treasury Board Secretariat. Canada becomes the 13th country in the world to develop a PLR program.
1987 The first PLR cheques are mailed to authors in March (see photo).
1988 The PLR Commission’s Constitution and Bylaws are developed and approved.
1992 The Status of the Artist Act is passed into law, and includes among its general principles “the importance to artists that they be compensated for the use of their works, including the public lending of them.”
1999 Canada hosts the 3rd annual PLR International Conference.
2003 An evaluation of the PLR Program is undertaken by the Department of Canadian Heritage. Its findings confirm that the PLR program is well supported, valued and efficiently run.
2008 The PLR Commission unanimously adopts a Growth Management Strategy, which means that a payment scale will be used to calculate PLR payments.
2009 The PLR Commission and the Canada Council for the Arts sign a new administrative agreement to clarify the relationship between the two organizations.
2010 The PLR Commission implements the payment scale.
2011 A series of events are organized in celebration of the PLR Program's 25th anniversary.

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