March 24, 2016

14,800 authors accidentally shortchanged in the UK


Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.39.45 AMWhoops! A “manual input error” at the UK’s Public Lending Right (PLR), an organization that pays writers when their books are borrowed from libraries, accidentally underpaid 14,800 authors by a total of around £264,000.

For the Guardian, Alison Flood reports that the payments will be distributed over the course of next week from the PLR’s contingency budget and British Library reserves.

The PLR has paid out over £150 million to authors since it was established in 1979 and apologized for the oversight: “We are putting measures in place including additional audit checks and system enhancements to ensure that this error will not happen again,” a representative said.

“We are sorry to hear of this error but congratulate the PLR Office on its swift and effective action in putting it right,” Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors told the Guardian. “Errors can happen.”



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.