Hargreaves IP Review consultation: quotations exception: scibella submission

Responded to question about exception for quotations. .

Question 94.

Should the current exception for criticism and review be amended so that it covers more uses of quotations? If so, should it be extended to cover any quotation, or only cover specific categories of use? Can you provide evidence of the costs or benefits of amending this exception?

My submission is now published as http://www.ipo.gov.uk/response-2011-copyright-scibella.pdf  . Only problem is it’s still trapped inside the on line pdf form the IPO provided – peering out 4 lines at a time from a tiny scrolling window [Note to IPO, you’re doing good work with covering the implementation of Hargreaves but don’t ever use that form again, please..]. So, here it is free at last, roaming the wilds of wordpress.

“I am working on a project Scibella.com to set up a Current Research Information Service (CRIS)  for research being carried out by UK and Irish universities and research councils. The innovative aspect of Scibella would be a  transformative re-use of UK university & research council job advertisements. These advertisements contain substantial details about researchers, what their projects are, where they are based- the core elements of a CRIS. I am planning a commercial operation as this is the best way of ensuring its continuity, I am 65 and at some point will wish to hand this CRIS project on.  My present problem with copyright is that these adverts, even after expiry of the application date and their deletion from university websites, retain copyright for a period of 70 years. As matters stand I  have to seek written permission to quote from these adverts, for commercial re-use, from well over a hundred separate institutions- a long process with no certainty of outcome.

An exception that allowed quotation under “fair dealing” for purposes of information would provide a legal framework within which my project could proceed further

An exemplary quotation would be further details for an entry on
Project: Sonosensitive Nanoparticle Characterisation
Unit: University of Oxford – Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Further details:
“Description of the project

The project forms part of a large collaborative effort within the Institute of Biomedical Engineering aimed at developing improved, ultrasound-based drug delivery strategies that are capable of targeting both primary and metastatic liver tumours efficaciously over a single course of administration. The objective over the 5-year project timescale is to address the drug formulation, ultrasound-induced release, quantitative imaging aspects and anticancer activity of the project in parallel, with all researchers working in adjacent laboratories.

Overview of the role
Recent work carried out at the University of Oxford has yielded a new generation of solid sonosensitive nanoparticles of high surface roughness and hydrophobicity, capable of lowering the pressure amplitudes required for initiation of inertial cavitation and drug delivery. The specific role of the person appointed will be to understand, model and optimize the mechanism for nanoparticle-based cavitation nucleation and drug release, both computationally and experimentally. The researcher will also have the opportunity to contribute to the design and manufacture of existing and novel sonosensitive nanoparticle formulations.”

Source: https://www.recruit.ox.ac.uk/pls/hrisliverecruit/erq_jobspec_version_4.jobspec?p_id=102250 (now deleted from Oxford University website)


I envisage a sectoral approach, e.g.current nanotechnology research projects in UK universities, published in e-book format.  Initially I plan  4-6 sectoral publications per year.  Each sectoral publication could involve using 200-400 quotations from around approx 20-30 major research universities and research councils. Each quotation could be about 200-400 words.

 Under present copyright law I would have to make  80- 180 applications  per year for clearance.

(20 universities/research councils approached 4 times a year =80; 30 universities/research councils approached 6 times a year =180)

Using data from the impact assessment accompanying the consultation “Exception for use of quotations or extracts of copyright works IA No: BIS0310” ( http://www.ipo.gov.uk/consult-ia-bis0310.pdf ) I estimate for each application about 4 hours of scibella time and 4.5 hours for the rights-owner at  £12.40- £18.80  per hour (including 24%uplift). This gives a range for administrative costs for rights-clearances:

Scibella  £3968 -£13536 (80 requests x 4hrs x £12.40= £3968  180 requests x 4hrs x £18.80 = £13536)
Rights-holders £4464 – £15228  (80 requests  x 4.5hrs x £12.40=£4464 180 requests x 4.5hrs x £18.80 =£15228)

If the universities as rights-holders were to try and apply a licensing rate of £170 per 1000 words then the cost to Scibella would be from £ 27200 to £163200 per year

(4 pubns. a year x 200 quotes per pubn. x 200 words a quote x £0.17 a word = £27200
(6 pubns. a year x 400 quotes per pubn. x 400 words a quote x £0.17 a word = £163200
Taking the  mid point  expected licensing costs to Scibella would be £ 95200 a year

Expected sales of the publications  are 200-400 per sector at £20-40 per publication producing a gross revenue range of £ 16,000-£96000. (4 pubns. per year x 200 sales per pubn x £20 per sale =£16000: 6 pubn.s per year x 400 sales per pubn. x£40 per sale =£96000).The  mid point is £56000.

Obviously given expected annual licensing costs of £95200 a year and sales revenue of £56000 I would not proceed with Scibella and the benefits of promoting and disseminating excellent UK scientific research would not occur.

Much more likely is the situation in which the universities as rights-holders would grant me permission without charge in recognition of the advantages  to themselves in the widest dissemination of their research. In which case under the present copyright regime there is an administrative cost of £ 8432-£28764 to Scibella and the universities without any benefit from licensing income to the universities. An exception for “fair dealing” with quotations for purposes of  information, or comparable uses, would avoid imposing these administrative costs of seeking and clearing rights permission”

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