Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Google Bans Cheating Sites

The BBC reports today that Google will no longer accept ads from companies selling term papers.

One company says that 80% of its business comes through those ads, so it may be forced to go out of business.

I wonder if it will really make a difference. How many students actually buy an essay when they turn to the internet to copy content? There are plenty of opportunities to plagiarize without paying. The ethic of the internet has stressed sharing of even copyrighted material, so it is hard to imagine much of an impact. It is nice to see google make it a tad bit more difficult, though.


chuck d said...

The ethic of the internet has stressed sharing of even copyrighted material

I'm not sure what the free culture ethic of the Internet has to do with plagiarizing work. There is a difference between sharing information and misrepresenting work as one's own. And I don't think even the copyright abolitionists would find plagiarism ethically acceptable.

I agree that Google's move, while probably a good one, probably won't make a lot of difference but I don't see how that relates to the other comment.

Lake Winneblogo said...

I do see the two things as related. In some ways downloading music and clipping wikipedia are very similar.

Both are based in the ease of information transfer. The rights of ownership are blurry. If you can use music or movies at will for free, why not use someone else's ideas in the same way?

Anti-copyright folks clearly make a distinction, but does the average free song-downloading internet user care?