Naty sez, "As a longtime member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), I've often had cause to be annoyed by their approach to copyright (the ACM exists to support the computing community, not to make money, and they seem to have forgotten that). I've just written a blog post about their latest bit of asshattery - they are trying to convince the US government not to expand the successful NIH open access requirement to other government funding bodies, all in the name of protecting the revenue from their digital library."
The ACM has no legitimate needs or interests other than those of its members! How would U.S. voters react to a Senator claiming that a given piece of legislation (say, one reducing restrictions on campaign financing) "strikes a fundamental balance between the needs of the Senate and those of the United States of America"? ACM has lost its way, profoundly and tragically.
As much as Mr. Rous would like to think otherwise, ACM's publishing program is not an end in itself, but a means to an end. ACM arguing that an open repository of papers would be harmful because it "undermines the unique value" of ACM's closed repository is like the Salvation Army arguing that a food stamp program is harmful because it "undermines the unique value" of their soup kitchens.
One data-point: I wrote a short story for Communications of the ACM that they were supposed to put on their website for free more than a year ago, and they still haven't figured out how to do this; they say that their website back-end makes it impossible to flag articles as open access.
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- Proposal to allow publishers to charge for access to tax-funded ...