April 28, 2009 by Afroditi Theodoridou
Afroditi Theodoridou is a PhD student at Osgoode Hall Law School.
On April 16, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision in favour of iParadigms who operates the “Turnitin Plagiarism Detection Service”. This online system evaluates the originality of submitted written assignments by comparing them with content available on the Internet, previously submitted student papers, and journal databases. Turnitin also offers an “archiving” option so that the submitted assignments become a part of its database, if so requested by the educational institution. In order to submit a paper, a student has to agree to iParadigms’ “terms of agreement”. Four high school students had sued iParadigms for copyright infringement for archiving their submitted works. Although their respective submitted papers included an objection to the archiving of their works, the courts found that these disclaimers did not “modify the Agreement”.