Turn It In; Turn It Off

Today I notice a new bot called "turnitinbot" crawling my site and not for a new search engine.. this one is different. There is a new site called turnitin.com which sells a service to students and schools to prevent plagiarism, the idea is that students submit their work to Turnitin who then verifies it against their databases. According to the Wikipedia/Turnitin page the databases are composed of:

  • content from, books, newspapers etc
  • already submitted work to Turnitin
  • anything submitted to "other" sites like GradeGuru
  • etc etc
  • Result's from spider crawling

For me this whole things seems very dirty, the only small part I can do is add this to robots.txt User-agent: turnitinbot Disallow: / I don't want people to take credit for my work but I even less want a company to push the education system into their control and make big money out of it. Is Turnitin paying you or me for our work ? No. Are they making money out of it ? Yes.

For those who submitted their work to GradeGuru and are regretting it, please understand that when you submit content to a third party you should always read and agree with their terms of service, I'm sure they mentioned that one day the free service will benefit themselves a lot more than yourself.

Actually, here goes Article 14 from the Terms of Service http://www.gradeguru.com/sps/communitystandardmessagenlu.htm?tandc=tandc : Proprietary Rights in GradeGuru Content. GradeGuru does not claim ownership of the text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, or any other materials (collectively, "Content") that you may post to the GradeGuru Services. By posting any Content on or through the GradeGuru Services, you hereby grant to GradeGuru a non-exclusive worldwide perpetual license to use, modify, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute all or part of such Content on and through the GradeGuru Services and through GradeGuru and its affiliated entities, other off-line services and products and to charge for access to and/or use of Your Content. This license granted by You to GradeGuru to use Your Content (including that supplied prior to the version date of these Terms) includes (without limitation) the right for GradeGuru supply Your Content to providers of anti-plagiarism tools at our discretion, so that such providers may, amongst other things, check the integrity of Your Content. I was going to put the important/shocking part in bold, but then I figured the whole article should be bold, emphasized and blinking...

comments:
avatar

kiki

Wow, that is good brainwashing: the first sentence says "we don't claim ownership", so probably most people will stop reading there already, missing all the "all yor base are belong to us" forever part.
avatar

manu

It is scary isn't it... The whole thing is a bad joke.

They will copy your online published work to their private database, no matter what the copyright you may have, and use it to generate income (and add to that user submitted work of course). To me this is the exact definition of piracy.
avatar

kiki

totally.
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