As members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) we were disappointed to see the ACM sign onto a letter opposing a US government policy to require the free distribution of all federally funded research. As computer scientists, we are committed to the principles of Open Source, which promotes universal access to software, and Open Science, in which scientific research is both transparent and publicly accessible. When research funded by public agencies is signed away to private organizations and embargoed by them, it makes a mockery of these principles.
As such, we demand that the ACM immediately withdraw its signature from the letter to the US government. Moreover, we ask that the following proposal be put to a vote of the general ACM membership:
The Association for Computing Machinery shall release all papers in the ACM digital library, past and future, under fully open access terms within five years. Moreover, it shall ensure that any charges for publication, whether to authors, conference attendees or institutions, should be no more than the cost of publishing the papers themselves.
We further encourage the leadership of the ACM to take concrete steps towards Open Access immediately, in line with its stated purpose of fostering the open interchange of information.