Australian authors to be compensated for ebook library loans

28 January 2023

After concerted lobbying by industry representative organisations, such as the Australian Society of Authors, Australian writers will now receive a payment when a library lends out an electronic version of their book.

Authors, illustrators, and editors will be compensated for e-book and audiobook library borrowings for the first time, in a move by the federal government to bring lenders’ rights into the 21st century. A $12.9 million expansion of the annual lending rights scheme over four years will be announced at Monday’s launch of the Albanese government’s national cultural policy.

Until now, authors were only compensated when a library user borrowed a physical copy of their book, as part of the Australian lending rights scheme, which was established in 1975.