Knowledge Matters blog

05 December 2023

Disruption to Public Lending Right (PLR) service

We’re continuing to experience a major technological outage due to a cyber-attack, which is affecting our website and online systems and services, including PLR which the Library administers.

Delay to Irish PLR payments

Unfortunately this means we’re currently unable to distribute Irish PLR statements, or make the payments that were planned for December. Once PLR services are restored, we’ll send out statements and where payments are due, these will be made as soon as we can. We know this may be worrying news and we’re sorry if you have been affected by this delay.

Registering for PLR

We’re currently unable to register new titles or users for PLR payments. However, the deadline to register for inclusion in next year’s payments is not until 30 June 2024. We hope to have a registration system working in advance of this date.

Your PLR data

We know that news of this incident may be unsettling and you may have concerns about your data. We know that the attackers are likely to have copied some data from our internal management databases containing the name, postal address and email address of some PLR users. There is currently no evidence that copies of identity documents used during PLR registration were compromised.

What can you do?

Where we have an email address we’ve contacted all PLR users who may have been affected. As our systems remain unavailable, you won’t be able to change the password you have used to access British Library or PLR services. However, if you use the same password to login to other, non-British Library services we recommend that you change it.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) provides guidance on staying safe online, as well as specific guidance for individuals who may have been impacted by a data breach.

Over the coming months you should also be particularly alert for phishing emails and scam phone calls or text messages. The NCSC offers advice on how to spot these types of attack.

If you haven’t yet been contacted, or if you have any other questions, you can email us at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected]

Further updates on PLR services

While we anticipate restoring many of our services in the next few weeks, some disruption may persist for several months. At this point we’re unable to say how long PLR services will be disrupted or whether UK PLR payments will be affected too. However, we will update this blog and social media when we have further news to share.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.