Second Response from ACM

Donna Cappo sends the following official response to my third question:


QUESTION 3: Does ACM or SIGACT claim rights to the name “Symposium on Computational Geometry”? Specifically, if the SOCG community votes to end its relationship with ACM and organize an independent conference, will ACM or SIGACT insist that the independent conference have a different name, or that proceedings of the conference are published under a different title?

ACM considers sponsored and co-sponsored events an important asset of the association.  The rights to an event, including the name, are the property of the ACM. Should the leaders of a meeting series decide to sever the ACM affiliation, ACM retains the conference/event name primarily to avoid confusion between ACM and non-ACM events.


As expected, Donna’s answer is entirely consistent with the “Statement of Understanding” in ACM’s conference manual.

Advertisements

About Jeff Erickson

I'm a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and the chair of the steering committee for the International Symposium on Computational Geometry.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Second Response from ACM

  1. 1- if I remember correctly (Joe or Mark will tell if I am wrong), when I was in the steering committee and we were preparing the poll, Joe had mentioned that ACM had answered him that they would not retain the name.
    Am I wrong? Or did they change their mind, or is it different people who are answering now?
    Then how can we believe the other “guarantees” that they give us now but they again don’t want to write down?

    2- If we continue to use the name and they want to sue “us”, what does that concretely mean? whom/what would they sue? the members of the steering committee, as individual persons?
    and/or Lipics, which would host our proceedings with the name on which they claim property?

    btw, would Lipics agree to do so, knowing that ACM claims copyright? I guess they might find it safer to modify the name.

    3- Would the conference lose prestige if we rename it as something like “Independent Symposium on Computational Geometry”?
    I can hardly believe that they would manage to keep another SoCG alive in parallel…

    • Daniel Reem says:

      iSocg? [no opinion ;-) ]

    • Daniel Reem says:

      iSoCG? iSOCG? [still no opinion ;-) ]

    • Jeff Erickson says:

      if I remember correctly (Joe or Mark will tell if I am wrong), when I was in the steering committee and we were preparing the poll, Joe had mentioned that ACM had answered him that they would not retain the name. Am I wrong? Or did they change their mind, or is it different people who are answering now?

      I have the same recollection. But I also recall that when the results of the second vote were announced, word came down from the executive branch of ACM (rather angrily) that they would not allow us to keep the name after all. The two answers most likely came from two different people.

      If we continue to use the name and they want to sue “us”, what does that concretely mean?

      My guess is that they would sue LIPIcs (the publisher), the local organizers, or me (as the chair of the steering committee).

      Would the conference lose prestige if we rename it as something like “Independent Symposium on Computational Geometry”?

      I had exactly the same thought. “International…” might also work.

  2. John White says:

    The issue regarding the conference name is, and has always been, ACM policy. The intent is not necessarily to maintain a placeholder to start some other SOCG conference … but to make it clear that whatever comes next is not the ACM SOCG conference.

    John White
    ACM CEO

    • Jeff Erickson says:

      Actually, no, it hasn’t aways been ACM policy. Recall that COLT was an ACM-sponsored conference for 12 years before it went independent in 2000. COLT was not required to change its name.

    • Jeff Erickson says:

      This was also apparently not ACM policy in 2010 when the International Conference on Machine Learning moved from ACM to JMLR in 2010. ICML was not required to change its name.

      Perhaps they were smart enough not to ask permission.

  3. Pat Morin says:

    I really like Monique’s suggestion, or variants thereof: The

    Independent Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Public Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Free Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Libre Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Community Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Citizen’s Symposium on Computational Geometry
    Open Symposium on Computational Geometry

  4. I like “Open Symposium on Computational Geometry” better than my initial suggdstion.

  5. How about “The Symposium on Shape”, which shortens nicely to ‘sauce’ :)

  6. Pingback: The Elephant in the Room | Making SOCG

  7. Otfried Cheong says:

    I think “International Symposium on Computational Geometry” would nicely explain why the conference had to leave the ACM.

  8. Pat Morin says:

    Interesting. I was under the impression that the poor Europeans liked the fact that the conference was affiliated with ACM. As I understand it, European funding agencies are quite rigorous about how they count publications. I thought being an ACM conference would help with this, but maybe it’s enough to publish the proceedings with a recognized publisher. (Hopefully LIPIcs qualifies).

    As another data point, us Canadians could care less. High profile IEEE spamferences have ruined any credibility that professional societies may have once lent to their conferences.

    • It is enough (and necessary) to publish in recognized conferences or journals.
      The stamp does not matter.

    • someone says:

      Europe is interesting because of its diversity: each country is different. In my country, publishing in any conference, good or average, brings nearly the same value, which is about 30% the value of most journals. No wonder why we are sinking… :)

    • Jeff Erickson says:

      Since you mention funding agencies: The National Science Foundation doesn’t care about conference sponsorship. In particular, I was assured by the program manager that the student travel grant NSF gave us last year did not require ACM affiliation.

      It’s possible that some individual panelists/reviewers would care about labels, but I don’t recall anyone expressing such a preference in any of the panels I’ve served on. In my experience, the quality of the proposal and the quality of the PI’s past work is all that really matters.

Comments are closed.