North Carolina Law Review

University of North Carolina School of Law

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Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Paradigms of Plagiarism: Fair Use and Plagiarism Detection Software in A. V. ex rel Vanderhye v. iParadigms, LLC

March 31, 2011

89 N.C. L. Rev. 29 (2011)


In order to combat the rise of plagiarism in academic institutions, software companies have created novel and effective programs designed to detect and deter plagiarism. An estimated fifty-five percent of colleges and universities use some type of anti-plagiarism software. With the increased use of these advanced software programs, which can identify portions of a student's work that are similar to other works in the programs' massive and ever-growing document databases, Zack Morris tactics can no longer go on undetected. 


As could be expected, the burgeoning market for plagiarism detection software has been accompanied by litigation challenging the use of such programs. In the recent case, A.V. ex rel. Vanderhye v. iParadigms, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that iParadigms, LLC ("iParadigms"), a company specializing in plagiarism detection software, was not liable for infringing on the copyrights of four students when its software, Turnitin Plagiarism Detection Service ("Turnitin"), archived digital copies of the students' works in its database. The court held that iParadigms' use of the student works qualified as fair use. 


This Recent Development explores the Fourth Circuit's fair use analysis and argues that its decision was, not only the correct application of the law, but also aligns with both the legislative purpose of fair use and the underlying constitutional purpose of copyright law. 



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