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Does Anti-Plagiarism Service Violate Copyright Law

Washington Post: McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service.

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. provides a service, but its archiving — copying and reusing — the copyrighted work of others in this way is at best problematic.

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