We love the whole idea behind TurnItIn.com as a necessary intellectual watchdog against student plagiarism and intellectual falsity and the news this week that, despite student protest, TurnItIn.com does not violate a student’s Copyright.
A federal appeals court granted a boost to fair use advocates Friday when it ruled that an online cheating-detection service storing thousands of student essays did not violate the intellectual property rights of the essayists. Students who claimed TurnItIn.com breached their copyrights because it placed their works in its database brought the lawsuit. The site compares new essays submitted by teachers with a database of other essays to determine whether plagiarism was at work.
We celebrate the decision to let TurnItIn.com continue its mission to preserve preexisting work while demanding students still create original and persuasive arguments without copying.
We have used TurnItIn.com in the past and we would never want to give up such a magical and powerful cudgel for training young minds to think right first without worrying about the honesty of their fair use arguments later.