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Taiwan became the first country in East Asia to adopt a Public Lending Right (PLR) programme, under which writers will receive compensation for free public access to their books at two national libraries, the Ministry of Culture said Tuesday.

The introduction of the PLR programme on a trial basis is a historic step by Taiwan to respect and recognize creative works, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun, said.

Under the programme, a payment of NT$3 (US$0.1) will accrue each time a book is loaned at the two libraries — the National Library of Public Information in Taichung and the National Taiwan Library in New Taipei.

The compensation will be paid annually, starting in 2021, with 70 percent going to the author and 30 percent to the publisher.

In the trial stage, only books written by Taiwanese authors, published by registered entities in Taiwan, and assigned a valid International Standard Book Number (ISBN) will be eligible for PLR payments.

Chinese translations of books by foreign authors and publishers will not be part of the programme, which became effective on January, 1, 2020 on a three-year trial basis, while a budget of N$10 million annually will be allocated to the programme by the government.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel