LegalReader.com  ·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service


— March 29, 2007

Plaintiffs Say Company’s Database of Term Papers, Essays Violates Copyright Laws

Two McLean [VA] High School students have launched a court challenge against a California company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming the anti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws.

The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, seeks $900,000 in damages from the for-profit service known as Turnitin. The service seeks to root out cheaters by comparing student term papers and essays against a database of more than 22 million student papers as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. In the process, the student papers are added to the database.

Two Arizona high school students also are plaintiffs. None of the students is named in the lawsuit because they are minors.

“All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have no interest in plagiarizing,” said Robert A. Vanderhye, a McLean attorney representing the students pro bono. “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.”

Details here from the Washington Post.


Plaintiffs Say Company’s Database of Term Papers, Essays Violates Copyright Laws

Two McLean [VA] High School students have launched a court challenge against a California company hired by their school to catch cheaters, claiming the anti-plagiarism service violates copyright laws.

The lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, seeks $900,000 in damages from the for-profit service known as Turnitin. The service seeks to root out cheaters by comparing student term papers and essays against a database of more than 22 million student papers as well as online sources and electronic archives of journals. In the process, the student papers are added to the database.

Two Arizona high school students also are plaintiffs. None of the students is named in the lawsuit because they are minors.

“All of these kids are essentially straight-A students, and they have no interest in plagiarizing,” said Robert A. Vanderhye, a McLean attorney representing the students pro bono. “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.”

Details here from the Washington Post.

Join the conversation!