Re: Copyright and Published Papers

Jim Davis (
Wed, 5 Apr 1995 13:53:57 +0500

The ACM has announced an interim copyright policy in the current
(April 95) issue of Communications of the ACM. I quote some excerpts
from it below. As I understand it, it does allow authors to place
papers on Web servers under some fairly easily satisfied conditions:

"When your work is accepted for publication, the editor will ask to
transfer copyright to the ACM."

"The original copyright holder (you or your employer) retains...the
right to post a personal copy on non-ACM servers for limited
non-commercial distributions, again provided the ACM copyright notice
is attached to the personal copy and the server prominently displays a
general policy notice about use of copyrighted works it contains"

"If the number of people who have access to the distribution [server]
is less than 1% of the ACM membership (currently 1% is 800 people),
you do not need prior permission for the distribution. If the number
is larger you should get permission from ACM and the copies should
cite that permission."

The ACM copyright notice grants "permission to make digital or hard
copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom
use.. provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or
commercial advantage and that new copies bear this notice and the full
citation on the first page".