Turnitin.com and other plagiarism sites

<p>Is anyone familiar with this site? Our high school is asking us to sign a user agreement. A parent, who happens to be a university prof., is warning us not to sign it. I believe his arguement is that any of the written work submitted becomes the property of these services. I would never endorse any form of plagiarism, but is type of site the best form of enforcement?</p>

<p>My son's school has been having the students use turnitin.com before submitting papers for several years. I don't recall as a parent ever having to sign anything.</p>

<p>My D - now a college sophomore, was using Turn-it-In since 2002 or 2003. We never had to sign anything, nor have I ever heard about the material becoming theirs.</p>

<p>Before my opportunity to edit goes away...I submit this link: <a href="http://www.turnitin.com/static/pdf/datasheet_ip.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.turnitin.com/static/pdf/datasheet_ip.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Now I'll go read it too.</p>

<p>One more as read the document:
...claiming that Turnitin violates current laws or forces students to give up their copyrights is inaccurate. </p>

<p>...Turnitin abides by a strict privacy policy to protect senstive data—so much so that many traditionally conservative institutions have entrusted us with their intellectual property. Student information and papers are secured digitally through industry-standard SSL encryption and physically through stringent security measures
at Turnitin’s server facilities.</p>

<p>It sounds as if the university professor/parent asking you all not to sign the document had been reading some urban legends. Ask him/her where they got their information and show her/him this document.</p>

<p>I didn't sign anything that I recall, and both of my kids have had to submit many of their papers and essays to turnitin.com in high school.</p>

<p>My professor husband thinks the idea is great.</p>

<p>I don't remember signing anything, that doesn't mean that I didn't- although several of the teachers do request parents sign something at the beginning of the year outlining expectations etc.</p>

<p>I don't think all Ds teachers use it, but I know the AP teachers do.
Seems like I did have to pay something for it though.</p>

<p>The</a> Chronicle: 5/17/2002: Plagiarism-Detection Tool Creates Legal Quandary</p>

<p>
[quote]
What makes it effective -- but also controversial -- is that it keeps the papers that colleges submit for inspection, in order to enlarge its database. Most other plagiarism-detection services, like Copycatch and Eve2, allow professors to run student papers through a computer program that checks for material copied off the Internet or for collusion among students. </p>

<p>Since those services don't retain the submissions, the pool of manuscripts that papers are compared with is likely to be smaller than Turnitin.com's, says Louis A. Bloomfield, a physics professor at the University of Virginia, who passionately defends both types of plagiarism-detection services. He created a computer program that finds shared passages among submitted papers but does not save them in a database.</p>

<p>Lawyers say the problem with Turnitin.com 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.</p>

<p>Those concerns contributed to the decision by officials at the University of California at Berkeley not to subscribe to Turnitin.com, says Mike R. Smith, assistant chancellor for legal affairs: "We take student intellectual-property rights seriously, and that became one of the trouble spots for us in moving ahead with this proposal."

[/quote]
</p>

<p>There are serious issues with Turnitin, and I would not participate unless I were compensated. Each paper submitted to Turnitin goes into their database for eternity, and effectively increases the quality of their service. As the copyright holder of my work, there is no way I'm going to just give it away to a business who is not at all accountable to me, for the sole purpose of increasing the quality of their service.</p>

<p>If they want my work, they can pay me for it.</p>

<p>But then if the high school teacher required it- would you just drop the class?
I have enough issues that I am working on in the school, and haven't wanted to take that one on.
However, it does look like some of the other programs to check for originality may be preferable.</p>

<p>Ditto what blackeyedsusan and midmo said.</p>

<p>This was from 2001 to 2005; don't know if our hs is still requiring this.</p>