HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
What kinds of books are eligible for PLR payments?
In general, works of fiction, poetry, drama, children's books, scholarly books, and general non-fiction are eligible. However, certain kinds of books are ineligible. Please refer to the program eligibility criteria.
No. E-books are not yet eligible to the PLR program. The Commission has affirmed that books in electronic format will be accepted in the PLR program when a suitable program design is completed. Our current goal is to incorporate e-books in the title registration process in time for the 2014-15 program cycle. The Commission is currently reviewing its technical criteria in order to create clear eligibility guidelines that will address both printed and e-books.
Every year, the PLR Commission decides which library catalogues are to be used for its sample. The selection process takes into account the desire to include substantial collections and to represent the various regions of Canada. We survey six public library catalogues in each language group and double results for libraries in the largest urban centres.
How is a PLR payment calculated?
There are four main factors that influence the amount of a PLR payment: the PLRC’s budget, the total number of registered titles found in the selected libraries, the payment category in which a title falls and the number of library catalogues in which a title is found.
When will I learn if I will be receiving a PLR payment?
A Title Earning Summary is mailed to you each February. This report indicates whether your registered titles were found in the selected libraries and the amount of your PLR payment.
What support material is required?
A photocopy of the title page and copyright page where your name and the title of the book appear is required. The table of contents, if available, must also accompany your signed registration form.
What is meant by “percentage share” on the Registration form?
Percentage share refers to the portion of a book that is attributed to a contributor, where there is more than one contributor to the book. It is not tied to the royalty rate or the division of royalties agreed to by various contributors to a book. For example, if a 100-page book consists of 70 pages of a writer’s work and 30 pages of an illustrator’s work, the illustrator would claim 30% and the writer would claim 70%. Please refer to the program eligibility criteria for detailed information.
Once registered with the PLR program, do I have to re-register every year?
No. Your file will be automatically carried over from year to year. However, should you wish to add a new title, you will need to do so during the registration period by completing a File Update form (provided to authors in February each year).
A new edition of a title that I registered a number of years ago was just released. Will this have an impact on the payment category in which my title falls?
The date of publication, edition or reprint of a book is not a consideration in the PLR payment scale. The payment category in which a titles falls is determined by its original registration date with the PLR program.
Is the Public Lending Right the same as copyright or royalties?
No. The Public Lending Right is not related to copyright law or royalty payments. Copyright is a right guaranteed by law that protects the creators of works and royalties are payments from a publisher based a percentage of the revenues received for book sales. Rather, PLR payments are issued to authors as a compensation for the free public access to their books in Canadian public libraries.
What is the Income Tax status of a PLR payment? When do I receive a T4A slip?
All PLR payments must be reported as income whether you received a T4A tax slip or not. Generally, PLR earnings are included under line 130 "Other Income" of your Federal Income Tax return.
If your payment is $500 or more you will receive a T4A slip the February following your payment. If your payment is under $500, we will not issue a T4A slip.
Do PLR payments continue after an author’s death?
No. Payments are limited to living authors. An author’s estate is eligible for one final PLR payment after the date of death. Executors should send a copy of the death certificate to the PLR Program office and confirm the contact name and address of the estate, so that the cheque can be properly forwarded.