Students at McLean High School, in Virginia, have already expressed their displeasure with Turnitin, the plagiarism-detection service used by thousands of schools and colleges (The Chronicle, September 22, 2006). Now they're taking their complaints to court, as The Washington Post reports.
Two unnamed students from the school filed suit this week in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., citing copyright law and seeking $900,000 in damages from iParadigms LLC, Turnitin's parent company. (A pair of Arizona students, also unnamed, are co-plaintiffs. All of the students are minors.)
Does the lawsuit have legs? Some intellectual-property experts think so. When teachers or professors submit students' essays to Turnitin, the company adds those papers to a massive database against which subsequent submissions are checked. It does so without reimbursing the students, and that's where the lawsuit comes in. The McLean students submitted copyrighted papers to Turnitin with instructions that they not be stored in the company's archive. The students say Turnitin went ahead and did so anyway. –Brock ReadReturn to Top