Monash University

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Public Lending Right (PLR): its history, development and machinery in Denmark and Australia.

posted on 2019-02-18, 03:15 authored by Henning Rasmussen
"There seems, (said he), to be in authours a stronger right of property than that by occupancy; a metaphysical right, a right, as it were, of creation, which should from its nature be perpetual; but the consent of nations is against it; and indeed reason and the interests of learning are against it; for were it to be perpetual, no book, however useful, could be universally diffused amongst mankind, should the proprietor take it into his head to restrain its circulation. No book could have the advantage of being edited with notes, however necessary to its elucidation, should the proprietor perversely oppose it, For the general good of the world, therefore, whatever valuable work has once been created by an authour, and indeed issued out by him, should be understood as no longer in his power, but as belonging to the publick; at the same time the authour is entitled to an adequate reward. This he should have by an exclusive right to his work for a considerable number of years (16:421-22)."
More than 200 years ago, Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson described the property right of an author. In one single entry in The Life of Samuel Johnson some fundamental statements have been made with regard to books and authors: the dichotomy between the general good of the public and the author's rights, a right of creation and a right to reward for his work. Boswell's statements have been adopted and adapted by authors in many countries in advocating a system which would compensate them for the use of their books in libraries.[...]


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Principal supervisor

Richard Stayner

Additional supervisor 1

Brian McMullin

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Department, School or Centre

Librarianship, Archives and Records

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Faculty of Information Technology

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