Is Turnitin worth the amount of money you pay for subscription?

Is Turnitin worth the amount of money you pay for subscription?
Paying subscription at Turnitin for plagiarism check may bring more problems than help to students. Students have been rallying about violation of their intellectual property rights over the research papers they submitted to Turnitin for plagiarism check. Turnitin has been misleading plagiarism scan advertising to actively storing and accumulating research papers in their database in the background. This act is pure violation of the students’ intellectual property rights. Research papers that were submitted for plagiarism check to any plagiarism software should not be stored and accumulated in their database. What is the purpose of storing the papers?

Misleading and unreliable advertising ethics
Turnitin has been playing with ethics. This for profit plagiarism scanning service has been benefiting from subscriptions and accumulated research papers of students stored in their database. A senior student commented about most high school students getting irritated with the implication of the school’s intention submitting all homework to Turnitin. The catchy phrase to catch cheaters really caught the attention as well as slightly insulted the intellect of the high school students.

The company’s legal representative stated that the company did not violate any rights. The Fairfax school and other schools such as the public schools in Montgomery, Arlington, and Prince George’s counties have been clinging to the same stand – they did not violate any rights of the students. Who would dare argue about questionable use of the intellectual property when it has become an instruction of the school?

There are many possibilities that could happen to the research papers of the students:

  • The company can sell discreetly the research papers by merely rewriting it
  • The company can form another company and post the research papers for viewing at paid monthly subscription
  • The company can potentially profit from the research papers of the students with the universities paying for it
  • These are just possibilities. They are not accusations. Why do you need to keep, store, or accumulate highly confidential research materials? Most plagiarism detectors online do not store the content submitted to their database. For major ethical reasons, they deleted all data after use. Storing intellectual property on database could lead to major unethical for profit considerations especially if there are already thousands of papers in there. There is the question if this undermines the rights of the poor students over their own writings.

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