84 GMAT Scores Cancelled For Students Who Used 'Copyright Infringing' Test Prep Site

from the seems-to-be-an-overreaction dept

Back in July we wrote about our surprise at the fact that the Graduate Management Admission Council, who creates the GMAT test used as part of the admissions process for many business schools, had won a copyright infringement lawsuit against a test prep website. There are plenty of test prep operations out there, but GMAC's complaint here was that some of the users of the site were posting questions used on the exam that they had remembered. It's difficult to see why this is a particularly big deal. Most test prep consists of looking at old tests or samples questions and practicing on them. The fact that some live questions might also make it into the mix seems hardly likely to make much of a significant difference (and, if anything, suggests GMAC might want to have a much larger pool of questions to avoid this issue). It's also questionable whether it's infringement to repeat a single test question.

Furthermore, it's not clear why the website in question, Scoretop, should be held responsible for the actions of its users. You would think that it would be somewhat protected by the DMCA's safe harbors. However, GMAC not only won the copyright infringement lawsuit, but was also given access to Scoretop's logs. That seems ridiculous, and an invasion of the privacy of those who were simply signing up to do some test prep. And, now, to top it all off, GMAC has canceled the GMAT scores of 84 individuals who used the site and notified all the schools to which the scores had been sent.

Hopefully, the schools recognize that GMAC is overreacting and choose not to rescind any admissions -- but I'm sure some will probably do so. This seems pretty extreme for folks who were engaged in pretty standard test preparation. They weren't "stealing" the exam or anything, but among tons of other test prep questions, would get to see some "live" questions that might possibly show up on the exam. All around this seems like a highly questionable decision, both from the legal standpoint, and then GMAC's followup reaction.


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  1.  
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    Allen (profile), Sep 11th, 2008 @ 9:48pm

    Gotta agree.

    Even putting aside the question of whether or not they are responsible for their users, how is it that individual questions (as opposed to the whole paper) don't represent some kind of fair use in the first place?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 10:32pm

    What a Load

    illegal website ?
    protect the integrity of the test ?

    and I though copyright was a civil matter ...
    protecting their profit, not test integrity

     

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  3.  
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    2nd windows commercial - Better?, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 10:41pm

    Not related to this article.

    I'm just going to leave this here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBWPf1BWtkw

     

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  4.  
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    Jon Bischke, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 10:55pm

    I think the answer is...

    You're GMAC. You know at some point this is going to happen. Why not do the following...

    #1 - Have a large enough pool of answers that some leaking really doesn't have a material effect. After all, you make many millions each year, you can pay some people to write more questions...

    #2 - Leak misleading questions and answers purposely. Set up a fake website with "real" questions and see who signs up.

    There are a billion different ways to handle this...I'm not sure they chose the right one.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2008 @ 11:08pm

    @Jon Bischke

    Not a proponent of #2, as that seems like it could be perceived as entrapment. But yes, you hit the nail on the head with option 1.

     

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    bobbknight, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:17am

    Oooo Baby Oooo Baby Oooo

    This is like taking the phrase Oooo baby Oooo Baby Oooo and posting it on some web site. Only to be found to be in infringement of a song. As I am sure there is a song out there that has that phrase.

    This is complete and utter Bull!

     

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  7.  
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    Ro, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 1:31am

    My tutors hold the opinion that even if you gave students the exact questions of the exam earlier in the year loads would still fail and get bad marks. The chance that a few Qs might be coming up probably makes no difference.

     

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  8.  
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    erica, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 2:22am

    Using the Questions

    Ok, so they used a website which had the previous test questions on it. Cisco, Microsoft, CompTia, any vendor for IT certs or other types of tests has had the same problem.

    Cisco widened their test pool by adding in "new" questions to each test (though the added in questions do not always count as far as score - in fact they tell you this before taking the exam)

    Nothing new about this. In fact, I would be more worried about getting the answers FROM these types of sites than I would anything else - a) they are not always going to be the correct answers. b) you have no idea that the questions and answers you get will be worded the same way as the ones on the 'study' sites. Missing the questions from not studying and reading would be good enough punishment.

    GMAC needs to take a hint from others who have been faced with this for a while and take advantage of it - change up the wording of the questions and answers. GMAC needs to encourage people TO post on these types of websites so they have the upperhand - knowing what is being posted cos they can change their own questions and answers - instead of punishing for it.

    If its not that site, it will be another. Its easier for GMAC time wise and financial wise to use it to their advantage then try to punish for every site.

     

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    Research God, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:31am

    Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    "This seems pretty extreme for folks who were engaged in pretty standard test preparation. They weren't "stealing" the exam or anything..."

    I'm sorry Mike, but you are completely wrong and inaccurate in your statement. I'm guessing you never had to take such an exam before.

    First, its is NOT standard test preparation. Sharing actual test items is a violation of copyright and is likely in violation of the ethical principles of that field's discipline. These exams rely on test takers not sharing tst items in current use in order to protect the validity, reliability, and integrity of the test. Most of these exams are not simply a "pass/fail" where everyone needs a certain number of correct responses. Rather, these exams typically produce a raw score which is then converted to a scaled score, depending on how well everyone else does. As a result, if a few people do much better because they cheated (and it is cheating), then the entire distribution can be artificially skewed, hurting those people who took the test ethically.

    Secondly, your definition of "stealing" must be quite narrow since they were in fact stealing the test items. By taking the items out of the testing room, they were also in violation of the exam center's own policy, as well as GMAT.

    I dont know how you can sit there and pretend like they did nothing wrong - they likely violated a number of codes and expectations set forth by GMAT and the exam center administering the test.

    Hopefully, innocent individuals were not affected. But those that did take advantage should be punished.

     

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    Kevin, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 3:46am

    Not new...

    I think that it depends largely on what they mean by "some questions." If it's only five or ten questions then they may be overreacting. But there are literally hundreds of test prep web sites out there that sell access to actual test questions for all sorts of exams (but especially exams for Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA certifications). Usually they get access to the questions via some dishonest proctors at testing facilities, or from people who take the exams several times and somehow secretly record the questions that they get.

    I actually had a coworker who went to a two-week "training course" in Atlanta that guaranteed that he would pass all of the exams required for the MCSE after the course. When he got there instead of training they handed him booklets that contained several hundred of the actual questions for each of the exams and was told to memorize the correct answers. During the two weeks they memorized questions and answers and then took the exams on site when they felt they were ready. He (and most of the other "students") passed all of the exams, most of them with perfect scores. Many of these students had no IT experience whatsoever, I specifically recall him telling me that one of them was a short order cook looking to make a career switch.

    So where's the problem here? Well for starters, there's the copyright infringement issue. Supposedly exam content if copyrighted by Microsoft/Cisco/GMAC. I don't think that in most cases fair use is a plausible defense because there tends to be so much of the copyrighted contents used, and that content is not used for commentary or criticism. Instead that content is sold specifically for the purpose of defeating the actual exam. Then there's the entirely separate issue of people getting certifications (or passing GMAT tests) who didn't earn the scores and don't actually have the knowledge or skills represented. That devalues the certifications/passing scores for the rest of us who do study and pass without cheating.

    Normally I agree with you Mike, but I think that you're probably underestimating the scope of the issue. There is an entire industry built around selling access to exam questions and answers for people who don't want to do the actual work but need to pass the exams.

     

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    Far Side, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 5:31am

    Just a little more info...

    Not that I don't think there was a little bit of overreaction here, but if you read the USA Today article it adds some more detail:
    "...12 people posted questions from the exam on Scoretop. Those people will be barred from retaking the test for at least three years."

    "The other 72 posted messages on Scoretop confirming that they saw items from the site on their GMAT exams. Those test-takers will be allowed to retake the exam..."

    This blog entry it pretty misleading in making it seems like everyone, including those that were just visiting the site, got nailed with no recourse. (Of course it makes no mention of the countless hundreds that probably saw the test items but didn't post any messages about it...)

     

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    Vincent Clement, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:24am

    Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    By taking the items out of the testing room, they were also in violation of the exam center's own policy, as well as GMAT.

    The article mentions nothing about material being taken out of the testing room. Cite your source to backup your statement.

     

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  13.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:50am

    I personally think GMAC should go further.

    1. Imagine this, you walk into a candy store and steal 1 piece of candy you say it is for sampling and you are not stealing. Well if everyone in the world sampled 1 piece of candy from this store, the store would be out of business. On the other hand, if you ask for a sample of the candy and the store gives you one then you know it is allowed. GMAC has released more then 1 practice test for people to study. And you can get a flavor for what the test is like.

    2. The 12 people that posted questions should not only get their scores canceled but kicked out of the MBA program they attended. They broke the most important thing in business, trust. They signed an agreement saying that they would not disclose the live test and then do so. That destroyed all their creditability. I think GMAC should release their name as well to publicly shame them.

    3. I recently took the GMAT test. To be honest, I don't want someone who paid $30 a month for a VIP pass to have access to up 50% of the questions out of the 38 required per section on the GMAT.

    4. As for expending the pool argument, do you think ETS only made 38 questions per section? There are thousands of questions but with each released question the possibility is there for someone to get more live questions to study for.

    5.Also keep in mind each question costs over $100,000 to develop. It has to be written($$), tested on live students($), analyzed in relation to the live student's scores ($$$$) and deployed. All this costs lots of money to do, so leaking even one questions does a lot of finical damage.

    5. Finally, I just talked to my dad (who worked at ETS and now at GMAC), he just said these students got the lighter punishment. The last time ETS caught people taking the test on the east coast and calling the west coast with questions and answers, they got 50 years in federal prision.

     

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  14.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    I personally think GMAC should go further.

    please excuse the minor mistakes in the above posting.

     

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    Jim, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:53am

    Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, reprinted here:

    Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
    ''

    Several of the previous posters seem to have forgotten that fair use is allowed for teaching, are these study sites not a form of teaching and educating?

    Secondly, the article points out that these students did not take a copy of the exam out of the room but merely recalled them as best they could. This means that no perfect answer was provided by that student, hence the answer on the site may not be correct?

    As for whether is was right for GMAT to subpoena the weblogs of TopScore, lets make the analogy between them and the MPAA. I'm sure the majority of you think that if/when the MPAA do this it is wrong, so what makes GMAT doing it right?

    In the UK it is standard for previous year's exam papers to be publicly available, even at the university level. As many others have pointed out, if you (the exam setter) can't think up new questions (or a combination of re-worded and new questions) then YOU (exam setter) are not doing YOUR job properly.

     

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  16.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    on the the GMAT test the thing you sigh at the end says "If you take materials including paper or test questions out of the room you are subject score cancelations, fine, prision terms.

     

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  17.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:00am

    Re: Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    Education yes, making a $30 profit per person for the website is not allowed.

     

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  18.  
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    SNR, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    Re: I personally think GMAC should go further.

    Errr what?

    1) you use the word "steal" to describe the act then ask how we can call it otherwise? Furthermore the store is the seller of the candy not the manufacturer. Sampling is a standard practice in manufacturing (in the UK Trading Standards do this and I can't remember what the US equivalent is) and yet sampling hasn't bankrupt them! Bad analogy!!!! Its more like going to see your favourite comedian and then repeating several of his jokes to your friends, it would put him out of business unless he kept coming up with original material - which is the point many are trying to make: GMAT should EXPECT material to be leaked, either verbally or in writing, and ensure their material is fresh.

    2. Prove it! Where's the agreement they signed to that effect? The most important thing in business is trust? Jeez I hope you're not in business. Business is ruthless, look at any of the big players: Microsoft (anti-trust lawsuits), AT&T (antitrust), etc. Insider trading is another example of where trust has no place in business... need I go on?

    3. Err so your jealous you didn't look and so you think that anyone who did must be a cheat because otherwise it makes your performance better? What?

    4. Missing the point. You're still working on the assumption that no new questions are created. You seem to imply they wrote like 1000 questions years ago and are just using them. Surely you add new questions for each sitting?

    5. Errr where did you get these figures? Proof please? And besides, again, its their job to come up with new questions for the test, no?

    6. Oh a lovely ancedote. I'm convinced, forget all I've said. Not. I believe the incident you are refering was actually a timezone exploit, where students on the east coast were able to sit and complete the exam before the start time of the west coast exam - correct? In which case this IS clearly cheating and very different to the case in this article.

     

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  19.  
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    Research God, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    I think you completely misunderstand the concept of standardized testing and the policies of the exam centers. "Removing items from an exam center" does not strictly mean tangible items, but test items themselves. Memorizing an actual test item and then posting it on the internet constitutes removal from the test center.

     

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  20.  
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    Devil's Advocate, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    Do you prefer Research or God as your form of address?

    "First, its is NOT standard test preparation. Sharing actual test items is a violation of copyright"

    - Wrong. Sharing the ENTIRE copyrighted work is copyright violation. Sharing of a single question is not. Otherwise, every word you write, think or speak would be a copyright violation because everything has been copyrighted in some form unless you make up your own language and even then it probably infringes on SOMETHING.

    "and is likely in violation of the ethical principles of that field's discipline."

    Doubtful. Having taken MANY, MANY standardized tests for I/S, I can tell you that most people recognize the tests for what they are... something that measures how well you take test, not something that gives an accurate depiction of your knowledge of the subject.

    "These exams rely on test takers not sharing tst items in current use in order to protect the validity, reliability, and integrity of the test."

    So, abuse of copyright law and enforcement is their business model?

    "Most of these exams are not simply a "pass/fail" where everyone needs a certain number of correct responses. Rather, these exams typically produce a raw score which is then converted to a scaled score, depending on how well everyone else does. As a result, if a few people do much better because they cheated (and it is cheating), then the entire distribution can be artificially skewed, hurting those people who took the test ethically."

    So, by your standards, anyone who buys a book on taking the GMAT is skewing the results from the people who didn't buy books? And I guess, people who study are skewing the results from people who don't.

    As far as cheating... most study guides have similiar questions which are basically rephrased ACTUAL test questions. So... are they cheating too?

    "Secondly, your definition of "stealing" must be quite narrow since they were in fact stealing the test items."

    It's not STEALING. Nothing was "taken". It was prosecuted as INFRINGMENT. Ever hum a song? Ever sing along to a song on the radio? OMG! You STOLE THE SONG! YOU B*STARD! You definition of STEALING is skewed in the opposite direction. Extreme right.

    "By taking the items out of the testing room, they were also in violation of the exam center's own policy"

    Most policies include not RECORDING test questions or answers, not REMEMBERING them. They didn't sit there and take digital pictures out... they remembered them later and wrote them down. You'd be hard pressed to show me a exam center's policy that included language saying "You may not remember any questions from the test you are about to take."

    I dont know how you can sit there and pretend like they did nothing wrong - they likely violated a number of codes and expectations set forth by GMAT and the exam center administering the test.

    Expections are not law, nor are they neccessary the ethic responsibility of everyone to follow someone else's 'expectations'. I might EXPECT you to pay me $1,000,000, but that doesn't mean you are going to... or that it would be ethically wrong if you didn't. Try to keep your comments and rebutals confined to actual law, not your "feelings".


    "Hopefully, innocent individuals were not affected. But those that did take advantage should be punished."

    And what about people who signed up for the site, not realizing that they had actual test questions? Are they guilty? It appeared to be just another test prep site, but now their scores are voided. Do really believe that is "fair"?

    So... in summary... you do not do your RESEARCH... and obvious you are not GOD, so I suggest finding a different handle. And next, try dealing with FACTS and not just your FEELINGS.

     

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  21.  
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    Jim, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    Errr why? I'm sure that it could be conceived you're paying for other aspects of the service not the copyrighted material? Just as you are if you pay to attend one of those intensive study courses where they do the same thing?

    And not all such study courses just get you to memorise exam questions and answers as a previous poster pointed out.

     

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  22.  
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    Isaac K (profile), Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    "By taking the items out of the testing room, they were also in violation of the exam center's own policy, as well as GMAT."

    GREAT IDEA! MIND WIPES FOR EVERYBODY!!!

    Seriously. Make up some new friggin questions then. THESE STUDENTS WERE NOT GETTING THE QUESTIONS ON AN UPCOMING TEST, THEY GOT THEM FROM A PRIOR TEST. There is nothing that dictates that the GMAT has to change the test questions, but nothing preventing it as well. Their FAILURE to do so is not the obligation of students who were simply trying to perform better on a test. It's GMAT's fault if a test is skewed because of bias towards certain groups, not the students for managing to do better.

    Anyone else for punishing perfect scorers for overperforming?

     

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  23.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re: Re: I personally think GMAC should go further.

    1. They do release stuff to the general public that is leaked but the point here is some people benefited unfairly on a standardized test. And they do make new questions each year.

    2.Yes you need to go on and learn what is a credit card or what is a credit score. They are based on trust. Business have payment terms such as Net 10% 30 are all based on trust.

    3. No I am no jealous because I did great on it, and i didn't waste a month studying only to have to do it again.

    4. I never made that assumption that no new questions are created. You did. I always knew that new questions are created. In fact if you took a practice test you would know that some questions are not scored because they are test questions. I have 1/2 a brain to realized that those are future questions.

    5. Where did I get my numbers well considering my dad was the group lead for GMAT at ETS before the test went to ACT I think I believe him when he says that ETS spends $100,000 min. per question.

    6. And your point is?

    In the end breaking agreements you signed = punishment. end of story.

     

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  24.  
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    Phillip Vector, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    "Memorizing an actual test item and then posting it on the internet constitutes removal from the test center."

    Umm... According to your logic, if you memorize something, you removed it..

    So everyone is a criminal because they remember a test?

    I call BS on that one.

     

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  25.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    no those study courses uses approaches developed by the teaching company (Kaplan) the questions they use their approaches on are questions released by GMAC/ETS/ACT.

    Study courses teach approaches to solving questions. Memorization of actual questions = cheating in every case.

     

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  26.  
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    Phillip Vector, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: I personally think GMAC should go further.

    "6. Oh a lovely ancedote. I'm convinced, forget all I've said. Not. I believe the incident you are refering was actually a timezone exploit, where students on the east coast were able to sit and complete the exam before the start time of the west coast exam - correct? In which case this IS clearly cheating and very different to the case in this article."

    Shoot... If that was the case, they should've all been given passing scores. :) I mean... I never would've thought of timezones to cheat. That's pretty clever.

     

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  27.  
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    Phillip Vector, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 7:57am

    Re: Re: Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    "Education yes, making a $30 profit per person for the website is not allowed."

    Yeah!!! Free Education!! No one should be charged for free!!! Those colleges are so evil!!!

    Wait.. What? We are talking about a business taking money to teach someone? Right?

    DOWN WITH COLLEGE!!!!

     

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  28.  
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    ..., Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Errr you're all wrong, mike's right!

    if that website is an accredited educational institution I would have no problem with the $30 it makes. Until then(i mean never) I think it is not in the same category as a college :P

    as for the timezone thing, that is why the standardized Chinese college admissions tests are all given at 1 times (easy since all of china is on 1 time zone). But some people on the western part of the country are getting up 4 hrs before sunrise to take the test.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: I personally think GMAC should go further.

    1. No the point is that you beleive some people benefitted unfairly. My point is that they didn't. But that wasn't your point, your point was about how spreading questions from past papers would bankrupt GMAT... or did I get the candy shop analogy all wrong!?!

    2. Errr sorry what are you on about? You said that trust was the most important business principal, I objected and provided examples where trust had clearly been abused...

    3. You can still be jealous even if you did great on it because you feel that they were advantaged to you and that you could have done better but didn't use all the available study material because you felt it was "cheating". I'm sure all those who used the site also were left feeling like they "didn't waste a month studying only to have to do it again".

    4. "There are thousands of questions but with each released question the possibility is there for someone to get more live questions to study for" This is what made me believe you didn't think they created new questions. If each question released is then used on a live test then of course you are in trouble. The secret is to release only questions not on the live exam AND to ensure that each live exam has (sufficient) new questions. Or are you agreeing with me? ;)

    5. Yes you said that but its ancedotal and heresay. If you could point us to some publicly available figures.... you get me?

    6. My point is that the questions being published to this website are questions THAT WERE FROM A PAPER THEY JUST SAT FOR REAL. They are not hoping to inform students of the make up of the exam they are about to sit, which is I believe what happened in the situation you described about east and west coast. Its ENTIRELY different situation to this one.

    Breaking the agreement you have signed is a) not the end of the story, that's why there are things like contract law and lawyers that earn a fortune working it, and b) is the whole point of this article. The agreement they signed does not appear to bind them against the actions they've taken, nor is it clear that copyright infringement has occured, nor is it clear that the DMCA has no effect...

    If you truely believe that everything you sign is binding, regardless of the fairness of the terms, or the legality of the terms themselves, then you are in for a world of pain at some point... perhaps even just with your landlord....

     

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  30.  
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    nasch, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: I personally think GMAC should go further.

    2.Yes you need to go on and learn what is a credit card or what is a credit score. They are based on trust. Business have payment terms such as Net 10% 30 are all based on trust.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Good one! Yes, my giant multinational bank has totally established a relationship of trust with me, that is why they are willing to loan me money, because they trust me to pay it back. I repeat... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Loaning money is not based on trust at all, it is based on RISK. If you have no credit history your risk is unknown, so many will be unwilling to loan you money and others loan at a high rate or otherwise unfavorable terms, to mitigate the risk. If you have great credit history, you have demonstrated that you are a low risk for loaning money, so you get better terms. The bank doesn't trust you to repay the money, they trust you to understand that they will trash your credit rating if you do not.

    IMO business is not based on trust, it is based on legally enforceable contracts. If it were based on trust, we wouldn't need the contracts and the lawyers, would we?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    JB, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Score Cancellation Completely Unjustified

    Regardless of whether or not there was copyright infringement, why would they cancel the test results of people who have viewed the test questions on the Web site?

    You can take the test more than one time, right?

    Once you take the test you have seen every single question on the test. So what difference does it make if you see a few of those questions on some Web site?

    If seeing questions from a real test gives you an unfair advantage, then how can they justify letting someone take the test twice?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    What? I dont think you still understand the points being made.

    Its not the memorizing of the test items that is questionable. Its the posting of those items that are still being used.

    The violation of test centers and test publishers doesnt occur when you memorize a test item, rather when you memorize the item AND share it. This is what is implied in the statements people sign when they go to take the exams.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    What was all the dribble you just spent 30 minutes typing? Those were facts the other poster mentioned. I think you are the one who needs to do a little research before speaking your feelings.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Research God, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    I'm not arguing that it is logical. I'm afraid you havent been following my posts. Test publishers and exam centers typically have you sign an "honesty" form, which generally states, not in the following exact words, that leaving the test center with test items is a violation and you are subjected to have your scores cancelled.

    Yes, I agree with you that most people remember a few test questions when they leave - its not like you can wipe your memory of them. But when you go and tell your friends what the question was or post it online, you are then in direct violation of the agreement.

    Whether it is a legal issue or not is debatable, which I think part of the original post hints at. However, it is most certainly an ethical violation and one in which scores can be cancelled. The test centers (and publishers to a certain degree) set the rules in which the test is administered. Failure to follow the directions should result in penalities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    "So... in summary... you do not do your RESEARCH... and obvious you are not GOD, so I suggest finding a different handle. And next, try dealing with FACTS and not just your FEELINGS."

    Ahhh...making fun of someone's alias....the last sign of a desprate man. What are you 12? You just negated any reputation you might have had (or thought you had) with your post.

    Besides that, it is you who I believe needs to do some research. Go back and actually read some of the other posts to get a sense of what is being discussed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Fisheye, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 10:24am

    The first thing I'd do before taking a standardized test is google "preparing for XXXX". If a link returned to a sample test I'd take it. Imagine doing that and then being rejected from every college you apply to, simply because someone else uploaded a question from an actual previous test.

    I don't oppose the copyright ruling in this case, but potentially ruining 84 people's lives with no evidence that their intents were anything but honest? Come on. Prosecute the uploaders, not the people who were misled...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    BTR1701, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    > "If you take materials including paper or test
    > questions out of the room you are subject score
    > cancelations, fine, prision terms."

    Baloney.

    A person can only be arrested and sent to prison for a violation of criminal law. Show me where in ANY state's penal code it says that posting a GMAT test question from memory on a web site is a crime.

    [Hint: don't waste your time looking because such a criminal statute doesn't exist.]

    Same with fines. Let some private company try and fine me and see how hard I laugh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sorry Mike, but you are wrong

    > This is what is implied in the statements
    > people sign when they go to take the exams.

    When it comes to the law, what is implied is irrelevant. A person can only be held legally responsible for what is specifically stated outright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    John, Sep 12th, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Poster #13 and #29

    Yes, I think you got the candy store analogy all wrong.
    If "everyone in the world" takes a sample, then it's stealing.
    But if the store owner posts a sign saying "ask for a free sample", then getting a sample is not stealing.
    However, if "everyone in the world" asked for a sample, the store owner would be just as bankrupt as if everyone stole the candy, the difference being that he gave his permission for people to take the candy.
    On the other hand, we're talking about test questions which can be re-created by rearranging words and phrases, not physical goods like candy.

    Next, do you have proof that people were actually sent to federal prison for 50 years for cheating on a test? That's a higher sentence than drug dealers get!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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