OK, WTF, this got me so annoyed that I had to get out of blog posting dormancy. I just went to Ke-Sen Huang’s brilliant page of conference papers on the web. Except, this time, all ACM pages (such as SIGGRAPH 2009, I3D 2009, etc) have been taken down, with the comment “This page has been removed at the request of the ACM Publications Board.”
What the fuck!?
ACM has no rights to
request require(*) someone to remove links to pages on the net, and it’s unfortunate that their request was complied with.
According to this page the ACM Publications Board is run by the following nasty little censoring asses:
Ronald F Boisvert (chair) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly E Rushmeier (co-chair) – email@example.com
Tamer M. Ozsu (vice-chair) – firstname.lastname@example.org
I strongly urge you to email them, with a cc to the ACM president Wendy Hall (email@example.com), to tell them what you really feel about ACM practicing censorship on Ke-Sen Huang’s pages (or anywhere)!
And if you have anything to do with ACM and SIGGRAPH, as people in the games industry tend to do, then I implore you to immediately stop your involvement and furthermore that you boycott their conferences (SIGGRAPH in particular) until they straighten their shit out.
Do not let their censoring of free information stand!
(*) Changed the wording here, because some dip-shit on Reddit can’t understand the message otherwise.
Update 11/23/09 16:04
The latest news is that, while Ke-Sen’s pages have not yet been restored, ACM has rescinded their censoring (through bogus copyright claims) as per the following email:
From: Pat Ryan
Subject: Web pages with SIGGRAPH Proceedings
Cc: "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "Rushmeier, Holly" , Bernard Rous , "M. Tamer Özsu" , John White , Prof Wendy Hall
As you are aware, the computer graphics community has expressed dismay and concern about the removal of your web pages. ACM wants to make it possible for you to continue this service that the community clearly values very highly. By this message ACM grants permission for you to repost the pages, with the addition of links to the authoritative versions of the papers in the ACM Digital Library. The author's home page links may also be included, but should not be links directly to the author's version of the paper. Please post on the site that the information is being provided with the permission of the ACM. This is the solution you proposed earlier, and it is clear from the community's comments that it is the right thing to do.
As you know, the concern about your pages was ACM copyright policy with regard to links. As a result of the community discussion, ACM will institute a formal review of this portion of its copyright policy.
Please contact us with any concerns or questions.
ACM Chief Operating Officer
They are still implying Ke-Sen’s pages were infringing on ACM copyright, which is still a legally suspect claim as (1) Ke-Sen’s pages are first and foremost factual listings which are not subjected to copyright infringements, (2) as Ke-Sen’s pages were sufficiently different from ACM’s so as not to be a derivative copy, and (3) even if they were outright copies of ACM’s table of contents, “fair use” of TOCs have apparently not been tested in a court of law, so ACM has no legal leg to stand on in this issue (and in fact, a ruling against all libraries in the US seems logistically implausible):
It will be interesting to see how this truly plays out over the next several weeks, but it seems a battle has been won, though the war is likely to continue for quite some time.
Thanks to everyone who read my post and voiced your concern to the ACM Publication Board. An organization is its members, and there is no stronger means of controlling an organization than through the vote of your voice and your purse!