Stealing IP to Stop Plagiarism

The Washington Post has a great article about turnitin.com, a company that helpd teachers check student papers to see whether they are plagiarizing.

Some students, teachers and administrators have a problem with this, in that they believe it's the equivalent of mandatory drug testing for all students. What ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty," they ask.

But the real problem with turnitin.com is that all papers submitted to the service automatically get added to their database and stored forever so that future submissions can be checked against them. And they do this without the students' permission.

Isn't that theft of intellectual property? Isn't it minimally hypocritical, and probably illegal, for turnitin.com to do that?

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