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Rights Form Explainer


Authors who have content accepted for presentation at an ACM-sponsored event must complete the ACM Rights Form. This form defines the terms under which the author can participate in the event, and defines what ACM can and cannot do with the content and its documentation. This document will, hopefully, provide answers to commonly-asked questions about the ACM Rights Form.

Glossary of Terms

Before we begin, it would be best to provide the definition of certain key terms used throughout this document.

  • Content: The work you are presenting at the ACM-sponsored event. The research project you've been working on, the animated film, the VR presentation, and so on.
  • Documentation: Your writeup of the content. A full-length or short paper, two-page abstract, or other written documents.
  • In-person Presentation: When you get up on a stage and talk about your research project, or animated film, or present your course.

Rights Options

Most authors are given the option to grant permission (a non-exclusive license) to ACM to distribute the documentation of their content. Authors retain copyright to their material.

Authors of technical papers - articles accepted to the Technical Papers program at our annual conferences, and short- and full-length papers accepted to our sponsored events - have more options available to them. In addition to the aforementioned permission, authors can also complete the standard copyright transfer agreement, or an exclusive license agreement. These authors also have the option to pay a fee for "open access," making the article freely available, in perpetuity, through the ACM Digital Library.

Further information on rights options is available from ACM's site.

The Rights Form

The six sections of the ACM Rights Form, and explanations of each section, can be seen in the following list. These explanations are general in nature; a few of the rights forms used by the annual conference have additional, program-specific language in them. Please look at the forms for specific explanations.

  1. Grant Permission: You agree to allow ACM to distribute the documentation of your content, and agree to participate in the event as prescribed by the event's organizers.
  2. Audio/Video Release: You grant or deny ACM the ability to record and distribute your in-person presentation at the event.
  3. Promotional Use: You grant or deny ACM the ability to use portions of your submitted documentation for marketing and promotional purposes.
  4. Credit Acknowledgement: You tell us how you want your content acknowledged, should we use it for marketing and/or promotion.
  5. Third Party Material: You identify all of the third-party material in your content and its documentation, citing the sources of that material and providing documentation of the permission you received to use it, or why you don't need permission (public domain works, a "fair use" claim).
  6. Representations, Warranties and Covenants: You agree that this your own content (or that you are presenting on behalf of the owner), that this content hasn't been published before, that you have all of the necessary rights and permissions to present it, and that if you have auxiliary material, that there are no malicious codes or software in it.

You must agree to the first and last sections, by checking the appropriate "I agree..." boxes. The other sections have multiple options, though an answer to each of the sections' questions is required.