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Court: Turnitin does not violate student copyrights by scanning homework

A judge has thrown out a suit filed by a group of students who claimed that the anti-plagiarism software Turnitin violated student copyrights. Turnitin scans student papers to determine the likelihood that they were plagiarized, and saves a copy in a database to make it easier to detect fraudulent papers in the future. But the students said iParadigms, the company behind Turnitin was essentially using their works without permission, which amounts to copyright infringement.

The judge presiding over the case ruled that since iParadigms does not republish the stories and "makes no use of any work's particular expressive or creative content beyond the limited use of comparison with other works." Therefore, the judge decided that the whole thing falls under "fair use." There's also the fact that the students kind of, sort of give permission for their papers to be scanned. Really what happens it that schools and teachers decide to use the system and students who don't want to feed their papers into a big computer can refuse to turn them in and take an F. Not really much of a choice, is it?

[via Techdirt]

Tags: copyright, iparadigms, news, turnitin