About us


How ALCS began

ALCS was founded in 1977 as a result of a long running campaign in the United Kingdom by the Writers’ Action Group (WAG) for writers to receive remuneration for the lending of their works by libraries.

The Authors' Lending and Copyright Society, as it was first known, was incorporated on 26 April 1977 with its first Council of Management consisting of Brigid Brophy, Maureen Duffy, Ted Willis, Colin Spencer, Michael Levey, Elizabeth Jane Howard and Joyce Marlow.

Its purpose at that time was to deal with:

  • Payments from VG Wort for German Public Lending Right (PLR)
  • British PLR
  • Belgian cable TV
  • Reprography i.e. photocopying royalties

ALCS' origins may have stemmed from the fight for remuneration for the lending of books in libraries but it ultimately did not need to become the organisation to distribute those fees. This is the Public Lending Right (PLR, Richard House, Sorbonne Close, Stockton-On-Tees, TS17 6DA ( www.plr.uk.com).

Maureen Duffy was given the title of Honorary President of ALCS at the 25th Anniversary celebration in 2002 and remains an active part of ALCS campaigning and lobbying 40 years after the inception of the company.

ALCS today has a membership of over 90,000 writers, has paid out £450 million to writers and is still owned and run by its writer Members. Information on the current Board of Directors can be found here.