Educational CyberPlayGround ®

"TURN IT IN" - PLAGIARISM DETECTION: Catching Digital Cheaters



by stealing the students' intellectual property, Turnitin commits the very evil it claims to combat!

It's stealing if you do it - but it's legal if they do it! Big Business Money buys the right to steal legally. The School cooperates with this private business which is wrong.

Turnitin uses source analysis software to check papers and return Originality Reports to teachers or students; the fineness of matching is down to an 8-word string. The program is practically useless if a student uses a thesaurus to change every other word in a paper to a new word of equivalent meaning. Turnitin is also completely impotent in detecting that a student paid a ghostwriter to compose a paper from scratch.

Plagiarism Detection in Term Papers, and Essays and Research

Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc.A compendium of links to valuable information about plagiarism and the internet. Teacher resources for detecting plagiarism and cheating. Student resources to help avoid plagiarism on the Educational CyberPlayGround®.

CITATION RULES - Electronic Sources for the APA MLA Styles

An instructor can largely avoid the issue of plagiarism by giving assignments that require personal knowledge or that compel students to provide regular accounts of their studies.

You can Link To this information

Plagiarism--find articles, rules, resources, sites, ethics, policies for teachers, including Law, with recommendations on how to combat plagiarism. owns
IPARADIGMS.COM (510) 287-9720
email 510 287 9729
Market Intelligence The Software & Information Industry Association.

Presumption of Guilt vs. The Honor Code

Some educators have rejected the service and other anti-cheating technologies on the grounds that they presume students are guilty, undermining the trust that instructors seek with students. Washington & Lee University, for example, concluded several years
ago that Turnitin was inconsistent with the school's honor code,"which starts from a basis of trusting our students," said Dawn Watkins, vice president for student affairs. "Services like give the implication that we are anticipating our students will cheat."

Students Rights

Parents did you know that makes a deal with the schools and they school directes the children to use - Students have no choice, they can NOT DECLINE, their rights to assert their own choice is violated. The students claimed that this agreement infringed the copyrights to their own work, given that parts of their essays could resurface whenever similar text appeared in future reports generated by turnitin.

A.V., et al. v. IParadigms, Limited Liability Company
Trespass To Chattels - Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions - April 2, 2008
Civ. Act. No. 07-0293 (E.D. Va., March 11, 2008) by Martin Samson one of the foremost authorities on Internet Law, having authored the Internet Library.
Court decision (PDF) by Judge Hilton holds that minors entered into valid 'click wrap' agreement with defendant IParadigms LLC (“IParadigms”) by clicking an “I agree” icon which appeared directly below an online Usage Agreement, and indicated their assent to be bound thereby. Plaintiffs were high school students that were directed by the schools they attended to submit class work to defendant IParadigm's “Turnitin” website to check for plagiarism. As part of this submission process, plaintiffs were obligated to assent to the site's Usage Agreement. Because the Usage Agreement contained a limitation of liability clause precluding liability to plaintiffs as a result of their use of the Turnitin site, the Court rejected plaintiffs' copyright infringement claims, which arose out of defendant's storage of plaintiffs' class work in a database used to check student homework for plagiarism.
In reaching this result, the Court rejected plaintiffs' claims that, as minors, they were not bound by the terms of the site's Usage Agreement. Because they had accepted the benefits of the agreement - the ability to submit their class work for grade to their respective schools was dependent upon their use of the site - they could not escape the contractual conditions upon which such benefits were rendered.
The Court rejected the counterclaims advanced by defendant iParadigms, including a claim for indemnification as a result of the commencement of this action. This claim was based on a separate “Usage Policy” found on the Turnitin site. The Court held that plaintiffs were not bound by this policy, which was not linked or otherwise referenced in the Usage Agreement to which plaintiffs were in fact bound. There was no evidence that plaintiffs were aware of this separate “usage policy,” which was contained in a link on each page of the Turnitin site. As a result, and because the parties' contract stated that it constituted the full agreement between the parties, the plaintiffs' use of the site was held not to create a valid browse wrap agreement, and the claim for indemnification, predicated on the Usage Policy, was dismissed.

2007 McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service Plaintiffs Say Company's Database of Term Papers, Essays Violates Copyright Laws [1]
Attorneys for the company and various universities and public school systems, including Fairfax , have concluded that the service doesn't violate student rights. Turnitin is used by 6,000 institutions in 90 countries, including Harvard and Georgetown universities, company officials have said. Some public schools in Arlington, Prince George's and Loudoun counties use the service. According to the lawsuit, each of the students obtained a copyright registration for papers they submitted to Turnitin. The lawsuit filed against Turnitin's parent company, iParadigms LLC, seeks $150,000 for each of six papers written by the students. One of the McLean High plaintiffs wrote a paper titled "What Lies Beyond the Horizon." It was submitted to Turnitin with instructions that it not be archived, but it was, the lawsuit says.

It's only piracy
if YOU
make the copies

2008 Judge Rules Plagiarism-Detection Tool Falls Under 'Fair Use'
The Chronicle of Higher Education, 8.4.4
A federal judge has ruled that a commercial plagiarism-detection tool
popular among professors does not violate the copyrights of students, even
though it stores digital copies of their essays in the database that the
company uses to check works for academic dishonesty. The decision has
implications for other digital services, such as Google's effort to scan
books in major libraries and add them to its index for search purposes.
The lawyer for the students who sued the company said he plans to appeal.
Judge Claude M. Hilton, of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., in
March found that scanning the student papers for the purpose of detecting
plagiarism is a "highly transformative" use that falls under the fair-use
provision of copyright law. He ruled that the company "makes no use of any
work's particular expressive or creative content beyond the limited use of
comparison with other works," and that the new use "provides a substantial
public benefit."
The case has been closely watched by the thousands of colleges who use the
plagiarism-detection tool, called Turnitin, as well as by opponents of the
service, who hope to prevent professors from becoming anticheating police.
In March 2007, four high-school students two in Virginia and two in
Arizona sued iParadigms, the company that runs Turnitin, arguing that
the company took their papers against their will and profited from using
them. The students' high schools required papers to be checked for
plagiarism using Turnitin, and the service automatically adds scanned
papers to its database. The company boasts about the size of its database
as a selling point, and colleges pay thousands of dollars a year to use
it. The students sought $900,000 as compensation for six papers they had
Judge Hilton seemed unmoved by nearly all the students' arguments.
"Schools have a right to decide how to monitor and address plagiarism in
their schools and may employ companies like iParadigms to help do so," he
said in his 24-page ruling.
More Issues to Explore
"I'm definitely appealing," said Robert A. Vanderhye, a retired lawyer in
Virginia who took on the students' case pro bono. "I am positive that the
appellate court will reverse" on the fair-use issue, he added.
The judge, he continued, "copied" the company's brief. "He didn't even
consider any of our arguments," said Mr. Vanderhye.
Specifically, Mr. Vanderhye said, the judge did not address whether or not
Turnitin violated federal student-privacy laws by allowing users of the
service to see papers that show students' names along with the names of
their instructors and other personal information. If the tool finds that a
newly submitted paper contains material that matches papers already in the
database, it gives the instructor the option of retrieving the old paper
for a detailed comparison.
Katie Povejsil, vice president for marketing at Turnitin, said the company
was "delighted" by the ruling.
"This was a very important case for us," she said. "This clears up some
questions" in customers' minds about the legality of the product.
Peter A. Jaszi, a law professor at American University, said the judge's
argument that the plagiarism tool is covered by fair use because it is
transformative may well stand up to an appeal.
"However, I would expect that, on appeal, the lawyers for the plaintiffs
might explore a wrinkle that the judge doesn't really address in the
opinion," he said. "That is whether or not a new use, a use of copyrighted
material for a new purpose, is an effective or promising use." Mr. Jaszi
said previous courts have argued that how beneficial a use of copyrighted
material is helps determine whether it is covered by fair use.
"The big debate about Turnitin, as far as I can tell," said Mr. Jaszi, "is
about whether it's a good tool."
The decision could bode well for Google. The company has been sued by
groups representing publishers and authors who argue that the company is
violating their copyrights by digitizing their books without express
permission. Google contends that, because its digital copies are for the
purpose of providing an index, it is essentially transforming the
"If this opinion, as it stands, were to be endorsed on appeal, it can only
help the cause of Google Library," said Mr. Jaszi.

2004 Student wins battle against Tunitin plagiarism detection requirement
January 21, 2004 [full text]

[ "The senate committee at McGill University in Montreal sided last Thursday with sophomore Jesse Rosenfeld, who argued that he should not be required to submit his essays to, a Web site that verifies originality by comparing documents to thousands of others. [snip] Rosenfeld said he had "an ethical and political problem" with the university's policy of submitting student work to" I was having to prove I didn't plagiarize even before my paper was looked at by my professor," Rosenfeld said, according to the Globe and Mail. [snip] Boyko also believes universities should not be permitted to turn over essays to sites like, which he said makes money off students' work without their consent. [snip] Lawyers say the problem with is that student papers are copied in their entirety to the services' database, which is a potential infringement of students' copyrights. (An author doesn't need to file for a copyright; the law automatically bestows on authors the rights to their written works.) And the copying is sometimes done without students' knowledge or consent, which is a potential invasion of their privacy. [1] "The value to our company is not in the collection of words and characters in an essay, but in the series of numbers derived from the essay once we transform those words and characters into digital fingerprints," Barrie said. [2] "In short, the value to us is not derived from the student's actual work." Barrie says in this way, does not violate students' copyrights to their work, adding that students retain control over their copy. ... ] made more than $50,000,000 since 1998, and never paid any royalties to any student whose intellectual property Turnitin has copied, stored, disseminated to third parties, and used to create a for-profit, derivative works-based service.

Harvard University contracts with iParadigms to use plagiarism testing software.

Back on October 10, 2006, Bloomberg reported: "I thought our first clients would be Harvard, Princeton, Yale," says John Barrie, president of Oakland, California-based iParadigms LLC, the maker of Turnitin. "I now think our last clients will be Harvard, Princeton and Yale. They have the most to lose."
Less than one month later (Nov. 2), Bloomberg reports that Harvard has signed up with Barrie, iParadigms, and Turnitin. Curiously, the contract between Harvard and iParadigms was signed in September, BEFORE the Oct. 10 Bloomberg report:
The contract, signed in early September, follows a series of plagiarism scandals at Harvard, including one involving a student novelist and another over columns and cartoons published in the student newspaper. [IPBiz notes that the flap at Crimson over plagiarized columns and the separate flap over political cartoons happened AFTER September. IPBiz does not know why Bloomberg did not mention the contract in its October piece.]
The article by Emily Sachar [Nov. 2] begins:
Harvard University has become the first Ivy League institution to license anti-plagiarism software, the president of the software company said today.
Harvard College, the university's undergraduate school, licensed the software in the first weeks of September and has made it available to all of the faculty, according to John Barrie, president of iParadigms LLC, the Oakland, California- based company that makes
The contract, signed in early September, follows a series of plagiarism scandals at Harvard, including one involving a student novelist and another over columns and cartoons published in the student newspaper.
``With Harvard's decision, the message is now broadcast in spades,'' Barrie said in a telephone interview today [Nov. 2]. ``Plagiarism software and Turnitin are now part of how education works.''
Harvard spokesman Robert Mitchell today confirmed the contract with Turnitin and said the faculty will roll out the software's use on a department-by-department basis in the college, which has 6,613 students. Mitchell said he did not know why Harvard chose to adopt the software.
Sociology 189, ``Law and Social Movements,'' is using the Turnitin software this term after a faculty member requested it, Mitchell said.
*** The Sachar article concludes:
Law professors Laurence Tribe and Charles Ogletree have also apologized in the past two years for failing to attribute the work of others in books they published.
Of 56,611 undergraduates surveyed in a 2005 study by Duke University's Center for Academic Integrity, 37 percent admitted copying Internet material without attribution, compared with 10 percent in 1999.
There is no mention of using Turnitin, or other software, to test the work of professors for plagiarism. The current debate at Southern Illinois University [SIU] involves an academic administrator.

STUDENT SUES ONLINE TERM-PAPER VENDORS,, &, all of which are owned by an Illinois company called R2C2.
A graduate student has filed a lawsuit charging three online vendors of term papers with selling a paper she wrote without her permission.[3] Blue Macellari is currently pursuing graduate degrees at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University. The paper in question, which was written when she was a student at Mount Holyoke College, was posted on Macellari's personal Web page in 1999 but turned up for sale. Macellari said she did not give her permission to use the paper, which itself could violate honor codes at Johns Hopkins and Duke. John Palfrey, law professor at Harvard University and executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said that the defendants will have difficulty prevailing if Macellari's complaint is accurate. On the question of whether the action would have an appreciable effect on the sale of papers online, Palfrey was less optimistic. Comparing Macellari's lawsuit to similar actions to limit spam, he noted that spam continues to grow unabated. "Its hard to bring enough spam lawsuits to make a big difference," he said.


CITATION RULES - Electronic Sources for the APA MLA Styles

IT IS OK - > You are SUPPOSED to use others' works to support your ideas which is what doing a research paper is for !

It's FINE to use someone else's work because it is very hard to have an original idea. You can paraphrase, but you STILL have to give a citation because IDEAS count, too, even if you are told to "put it in your own words". How to Cite The Source

Get an A by finding and then showing the teacher what they didn't know. Learn how to write proper quotations, citations, and bibliographies.

Plagiarism: What It is and How to Recognize and Avoid It Examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases as well as strategies they could employ to avoid plagiarism.

SparkNotes - Online Study Guides, like Cliff Notes TM but they are free and written by Harvard Students.

Colleges may rescind degrees


-- analyze, interpret, infer or synthesize" material they have read
-- compare-and-contrast essays or personal opinion pieces
-- What is the nature of the assessment? Perhaps test at a higher level where its harder to "cheat?"

Teachers can find Lesson Plans

Writing: Plagiarism Advice for Lessons
18 suggestions they could adopt to teach students not to plagiarize.

Cut-and-Paste Plagiarism
Preventing, Detecting and Tracking Online Plagiarism. An online article for educators that defines plagiarism, offers prevention suggestions,gives detective tips, and describes ways to track it down. Included within the article is a list of some of the sources of plagiarized papers so that you can become familiar with them. The author suggests that one way of detecting a plagiarized paper is to identify unusual keywords or unique phrases in the paper and then conduct a web search for those words through a large search engine.

"Issues in Plagiarism for the New Millennium: An Assessment Odyssey" by Joan Gajadhar "The Information Access Perspective/Organizing" Clearly define the required structure of assessment.

Students Use Internet to Cheat
By Jay Mathews and Valerie StraussWashington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, May 15, 2001; Page A07
More than half of students from 25 high schools across the country said in a new survey that they had used the Internet to commit plagiarism for school assignments.
The survey by Rutgers University management professor Donald McCabe, who has researched academic integrity for many years, also said that nearly half of the students questioned said they think their teachers sometimes know students are cheating in class but ignore it.
McCabe said addressing the issue is difficult because it has become so common that, as one student told him, "It's starting to become 'normal' in some cases."

Plagiarism and Academia: Personal Experience
A paper published in the December 2004 issue of the SIGCSE Bulletin, "Cryptanalysis of some encryption/cipher schemes using related key
attack," by Khawaja Amer Hayat, Umar Waqar Anis, and S. Tauseef-ur- Rehman, is the same as a paper that John Kelsey, David Wagner, and I published in 1997.
It's clearly plagiarism. Sentences have been reworded or summarized a bit and many typos have been introduced, but otherwise it's the same paper. It's copied, with the same section, paragraph, and sentence structure -- right down to the same mathematical variable names. It has the same quirks in the way references are cited. And so on.
We wrote two papers on the topic; this is the second. They don't list either of our papers in their bibliography. They do have a lurking reference to "[KSW96]" in the body of their introduction and design principles, presumably copied from our text; but a full citation for "[KSW96]" isn't in their bibliography. Perhaps they were worried that one of the referees would read the papers listed in their bibliography, and notice the plagiarism.
The three authors are from the International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan. The third author, S. Tauseef-Ur-Rehman, is a department head (and faculty member) in the Telecommunications Engineering Department at this Pakistani institution. If you believe his story -- which is probably correct -- he had nothing to do with the research, but just appended his name to a paper by two of his students. (This is not unusual; it happens all the time in universities all over the world.) But that doesn't get him off the hook. He's still responsible for anything he puts his name on.
And we're not the only ones. The same three authors plagiarized a paper by French cryptographer Serge Vaudenay and others. And one of my blog readers found a third plagiarized paper, and potentially a
I wrote to the editor of the SIGCSE Bulletin, who removed the paper from their website and demanded official letters of admission and apology. They said that they would ban them from submitting again, but have since backpedaled. Mark Mandelbaum, Director of the Office of Publications at ACM, now says that ACM has no policy on plagiarism and that nothing additional will be done. I've also written to Springer-Verlag, the publisher of my original paper.
I don't blame the journals for letting these papers through. I've refereed papers, and it's pretty much impossible to verify that a piece of research is original. We're largely self-policing.
Mostly, the system works. These three have been found out, and should be fired and/or expelled. Certainly ACM should ban them from submitting anything, and I am very surprised at their claim that they have no policy with regards to plagiarism. Academic plagiarism is serious enough to warrant that level of response. I don't know if the system works in Pakistan, though. I hope it does. These people knew the risks when they did it. And then they did it again.
If I sound angry, I'm not. I'm more amused. I've heard of researchers from developing countries resorting to plagiarism to pad their CVs, but I'm surprised to see it happen to me. I mean, really; if they were going to do this, wouldn't it have been smarter to pick a more
obscure author?
And it's nice to know that our work is still considered relevant eight years later.

My paper:
The plagiarized version:

Another paper
The plagiarized version: is no longer up on the net.

A third paper:
The plagiarized version: is no longer up on the net.

The apologies are at the bottom of this page:

There is a lot of discussion, much of it from students at the International Islamic University, in the comments section of my blog post:

And there's some news about the incident. (Note that my name is completely wrong.)