'IP protection'

Intellectual property (or 'IP')

All the material on the public pages of the PIElink, specially written for the purpose, can be accessed for free; and should remain so, for so long as the PIElink continues to exist. Likewise access to the forums for all staff of services, users and family.

Likewise, in the Library area, the Pizazz on paper - one of key tools for developing PIEs - is available to all registered members free, under the terms of a Creative Commons licence (HERE).

But note that this free access applies only to the paper version; its use in the PIE Abacus software is not covered by this licence; and is not free to use. This constraint - written into our agreement with the software company, Opeus/TDK- ensures that the Intellectual Property (IP) is protected against use by any other digital platforms.

It's this that has allowed us to include an element of income for maintaining the PIElink, in the contract with Opeus and the sales of the software; and it is this that creates an 'income stream', and the potential for a sustainable income for the PIElink, in the future.



By agreement, the proportion of all PIE Abacus sales income that goes to re-investment is 20%. For the present Opeus retain 20% for their costs in administering the contracts. But this share could rise to the full 40% in the near future, as and when the project company is able to take on the administration of the PIE Abacus accounts.

We anticipate that the PIE Abacus will be most useful - and most used - for larger networks of services, whether local (in commissioning) or regional/national (for larger agencies or research projects) and therefore the income via this 'stream' can be quite significant (HERE)

In the short term, we anticipate that the adoption of the PIE Abacus software could start to bring in sufficient income in itself to allow a modestly sized staff team to continue to manage at least the PIElink's current range of activities. This would allow us to keep the PIElink and all its material 'free at the point of use' (sic) to all staff, volunteers etc working in the related field; and even to expand our activities.

After years running 'on a shoestring' there is the real possibility of a sustainable economic model for the PIElink, beyond Robin's retirement. If so, we can think of the last 6 years as Phase One - the 'one man band years'.


Future growth

There is now the prospect in the medium term of making a significant profit, via the Abacus;, that could then be ploughed back into the sector. But this income generation could even be greatly expanded by developing a vocational training element, focussed on higher education.

For the plan for greater expansion at Phases Two and Three, see : HERE




Further background reading/listening/viewing

And now a word for our sponsors :  HERE


Income via the PIE Abacus


FAQs - Costs and sustainability: HERE

Income via the vocational training model

Is this the future of vocational training? :  HERE

Is this the future of academic publishing : HERE

How audio-visuals can add value to academic publishing :   HERE

The homelessness sector as beneficiaries   :  HERE

Company structures, partnerships, and an editorial advisory board :  HERE

An advisory group ( or 'editorial board') for the PIElink : HERE