Thursday, March 29, 2007

Turn Off Turnitin

Finally!! Finally some very smart students have taken a serious stand, while standing up for their rights. According to the Washington Post story, four high school students have sued Turnitin for copyright violation (here's my Furl archive in case the story goes away).

Bravo!! They probably have a decent case ... I most certainly hope they win it. The way youths are treated in this country (not respected as being serious citizens) leads me to believe that they will have an uphill battle, but I do think they have the weight of evidence on their side.

I find it interesting that "each of the students obtained a copyright registration for papers they submitted to Turnitin." That absolutely should not be required since copyright is automatic on an originally created work. However, it was probably a prudent move to indicate that they were serious about their work having copyright protection, not just taking it for granted. Of course it can be taken for granted, but most people don't really get that so why not remove all doubt when you are trying to make a point.

Their papers were "submitted to Turnitin with instructions that it not be archived, but it was, the lawsuit says." This is where I think the strength of their case lies. They took out copyright protection (needlessly, of course), and then told Turnitin NOT to use their protected work in their profit-seeking business. However, Turnitin (and institutions that use it) don't believe that copyright applies to student works (apparently), so they proceeded as usual.

The number one way that my blog is found on Google searches is because of my previous posts about how I think Turnitin Sucks (and also here). Now let me add another search term to the list: Turnitin is Evil!!

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Anonymous said...

If Turnitin was used as designed, as a teaching tool, allowing the students to do a self-check of their papers, this lawsuit probably never would have happened. Most people are ignorant to the fact that a large percentage of the student papers that are submitted consist of words and ideas taken from other authors without proper citation or acknowledgment. The student that initiated this whole scam lawsuit is a D level student. Do you think it is fair to the honest, hardworking students when the cheaters get better grades on papers by using what someone else wrote? Wake up people!!

McLean High parent said...

I think I know why the previous poster wishes to remain anonymous. "The student that initiated this whole scam lawsuit is a D level student." I don't know you are or who/what you think you know, but none of the students involved in the initial challenge at McLean High School, nor the student plaintiffs in the lawsuit, are D-level students. All are fine students in good standing and all are opposed to plagiarism. These students all are "honest, hardworking students." In fact, they are so smart that they took a critical look at Turnitin and did extensive research before coming to the conclusion that Turnitin is the "scam" being perpetrated on school systems that don't seem to care enough to do the critical research into the system that these students did. You, "anoymous", need to take your head out of the sand and look at how this so-called service actually works (or doesn't work). How sad that the best argument you can come up with is to disparage students who you clearly know nothing about. Great work.

Anonymous said...

Turnitin does suck! I am so afraid to write anything in my graduate classes because my whole future in graduate school depends on this stupid program. I am afraid to write anything that is not a transition sentence. So in so says this and so in so says that, while, so in so agrees with so in so, others like so in so and so in so disagree. Also they change the formatting on all block citing which creates plagerism.

I hate this program as well and have published work that I have sent in as well, I would like to join up with the others. We need a class action law suit to quit criminalizing our young people in America.