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Q: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: up23-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 27 Apr 2006 23:54 PDT
Expires: 27 May 2006 23:54 PDT
Question ID: 723609
I would like to create a online location for students to post their
old work as a reference to help others. To motivate students to share
their work, visitors can pay the students for their work. I will
enforce a policy of no photocopying anything not written by the
student to alieviate copyright issues.

I am wondering about legality issue, such as using school names to
help search, school academic policies on posting the own work of
students. Please address other legal issues that may possible arise
out of this.

I think it would be great to be able to provide example works from
other students as a guide, but I would like to not get into legal
trouble. If a student copy and pastes instead of properly citing, then
the student should be correct. I think the idea would helps more than
it hurts the students. Please advise on how to best achieve minimum
liability and being able to give this opportunity.

Please advise on what to specifically put in the Disclaimer or User
Agreement to minimize liability. Examples would be great.

Any other advise would be great. Thanks.

Clarification of Question by up23-ga on 27 Apr 2006 23:57 PDT
I meant:
"If a student copy and pastes instead of properly citing, then
the student should be correct[ed]. [The online site should not be held
Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 28 Apr 2006 00:42 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear Up23, 

Although it is difficult to talk about law without you mentioning 
specific jurisdiction, laws regarding what you want to do are pretty
straight forward in most western countries. While plagiarism might be
an offence (because it might involve getting benefits, such as college
credits, fraudulently), posting your own work (or the work of someone
who's agreed to that) online does not pose a problem - among other
things under the protection of the right of speech (there are
constraints on the right of speech in several European countries, such
as Germany and France, but these are not relevant to you, and involve
a ban on Nazi propaganda).

Given the fact that the works are protected by copyright and belong to
the owners, even if you put no disclaimer at all, they are still
protected and therefore if someone presents it as their own, they are
to blame. US copyright law provides that one can use (for example,
properly cite) a work for academic purposes.

Nevertheless, here are a few examples for disclaimers of similar sites. 

Termpapers on File states: 
"*The intended purpose of our term papers is that they be used as
models to assist you in the preparation of your own. In accordance
with NJ Statutes 2A: 170-77.16-18 and similar statutes that exist in
other states, neither T.O.P. nor any subdivision of The Paper Store
Enterprises Inc., or its affiliates will EVERsell a model paper to
ANYstudent giving us ANYreason to believe that (s)he will submit our
work , either in whole or part, for academic credit at any institution
in their own name. !!!Plagiarism is a CRIME!  IF YOU QUOTE FROM OUR
does not engage nor participate in any transactions for the purpose of
assisting students in committing academic fraud. This service is NOT
available to anyone who does not have a valid, ethical reason for
seeking our tutorial assistance. The organization's rights to
research, write, and globally-publish example papers on the Internet
are protected, Free Speech and shall continue unabated and uncensored.
(SOURCE: <>)

Other sites have this: 
"How to use the resources on SCHOOL SUCKS (and elsewhere) to write
papers and not get into trouble."

Is it allowed to use one of these essays for school/university?

a1 Termpaper has only this note in red and bold: "ALL WORK OFFERED IS

"Q: How quickly does it take to write a paper for me and how much will it cost?

A: As it clearly states on our homepage, we do NOT write papers. does not promote plagiarism or academic dishonesty in
any way."
<> (BTW, it doesn't state it on
the homepage, perhaps they've changed the design).

Other sites don't even have that, or have a general statement that the
papers are for research purposes only.

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.
up23-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great work, thanks!

Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
From: purplecloud-ga on 28 Apr 2006 08:45 PDT
This sounds like it will be an interesting site to visit. 

Regarding the question of plagiarism, you might consider having a link
for each posted item which could automatically produce the correct
citation.  I believe some of the websites (like SparkNotes) have a
button to click which produces the correct citation. Users who are
quoting something (or who otherwise need to cite the site)can then
copy and paste into their essay. No need to mess around with
remembering the proper sequence of elements in an on-line citation....
For example:
Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
From: edejl-ga on 28 Apr 2006 10:14 PDT
As a student, I think this is a highly irresponsible thing to do. You
will be making it easier for students to copy other people's work. You
say it will act as a reference to otehr students but the majority will
copy will be hurting themselves as will be shocked when they really
need their fake skills. There are already sites out there like this
and you will be adding to the task of stamping out plagiarsm; I was
having a discussion with a teacher of mine just yesterday.
Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
From: ubiquity-ga on 01 May 2006 10:45 PDT
To the person complaining.. yeah, i agree, we should also shut down
libraries, outlaw encyclopedias, Google Answers,  and many other
resources to avoid the temptation of plagiarism as well.

Com'on, the onus is on the student to do what's right.  And thats part
of the education process.  And if something doesn;t sound like it can
from a student, the teacher can type the string into google and nail
the student for plagiarism.

Besides most term papers are not about the content or the free though;
its an exercise about how to arrive at good answers.  In-class exams
is where the analytical process should be tested.
Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
From: tel100-ga on 15 Jun 2006 07:36 PDT
In many cases supplying this material will be against the terms of
study that students sign up for when starting a course.

Many universities require students to assign copyright of material
they produce to the university. Posting on such a site would be
breaching this copyright.

Further all assignment briefs are copyright to the institution
concerned and so they could not be posted without permission.
Subject: Re: Legality of posting old homework, book reports, etc. online
From: saxon044-ga on 20 Jun 2006 07:55 PDT
"tel100" has this just right. Work produced for the institution is
copyright of the institution, and therefore the student is not
entitiled to publish it.

Instead of creating a website designed to help get students thrown off
their courses, why not create a genuinely useful resource for them,
that would assist without actually doing the work for them?

I came across a very useful site recently - -  that
goes a long way towards helping students with essay writing, studying
skills, researching etc. by using friendly language and hosts of good
and bad examples.

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