Students sue over plagiarism software

 

Two students are suing anti-plagiarism software company Turnitin for US$900,000 after the company copied their papers to use in its code.

Two students are suing anti-plagiarism software company Turnitin for US$900,000 after the company copied their papers to use in its code.

Turnitin provides software to schools that can be used to stop students who have downloaded papers or materials from the internet and used them in exams and coursework.

But the company has also been copying essays sent in for checking and adding them to its database.

"All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have no interest in plagiarising," Robert A. Vanderhye, an attorney at law firm McLean representing the students pro bono, told the Washington Post.

"The problem with [Turnitin] is the archiving of the documents. They are violating a right these students have to be in control of their own property."

The students took the precaution of copyrighting their papers and submitted them with explicit instruction that they were not to be archived by Turnitin.

However, they claim that the company did just that and are suing for six papers copied at $150,000 apiece.

"Typically, if you quote something for education purposes, scholarship or news reports, that's considered fair use," said Andrew Beckerman-Rodau, co-director of the intellectual property law programme at Suffolk University Law School.

"But it seems like Turnitin is a commercial use. They turn around and sell this service, and it's expensive. And the service only works because they get these papers."

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


Students sue over plagiarism software
 
 
 
Top Stories
At the top of her game
A decision to bring digital operations back in-house three years ago has paid big dividends for Tabcorp.
 
Westpac hires SAP man as CTO
Creates four new IT lead positions.
 
Qld Transport to replace core registration system
State's biggest citizen info repository set for overhaul.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Who do you trust most to protect your private data?







   |   View results
Your bank
  38%
 
Your insurance company
  3%
 
A technology company (Google, Facebook et al)
  8%
 
Your telco, ISP or utility
  7%
 
A retailer (Coles, Woolworths et al)
  2%
 
A Federal Government agency (ATO, Centrelink etc)
  21%
 
An Australian law enforcement agency (AFP, ASIO et al)
  15%
 
A State Government agency (Health dept, etc)
  5%
TOTAL VOTES: 977

Vote