Is It Test Prep… Or Is It A Copyright Violation?
from the misuses-of-copyright-law dept
The standardized testing business is a big business — though many are extremely critical of it. However, given how many universities rely on standardized tests for admissions, it’s difficult to overstate how important some of these tests can be. And, because of that, there’s a huge ecosystem of test preparation built around all of these tests, trying to help applicants prepare for the exams. These usually involve practice exams, often with questions from older exams. However, what if you got questions that were appearing on current exams? Given how many people take these tests, would it really be that surprising that someone would tell others about some of the questions they received on the test? In the long run, it probably wouldn’t make a huge difference in testing results since it’s unlikely anyone would see all the questions they could get, let alone remember the correct answers (it would be easier to just study in general).
However, one website that did test preparation for the GMAT (needed for business school) not only was sued for copyright infringement because test takers passed on “live questions” to the site, but in winning the case, the creator of the GMAT, Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) got access to the all of the site’s computers, logs and records: meaning that it’s now threatening to go after those who used the site, potentially getting them kicked out of school or having their degrees revoked. It’s one thing to go after obvious “cheaters” but this is very much a gray area. These students were simply doing test prep, trying to practice with various questions. It’s not as if they had the actual test itself beforehand. Would they similarly go after a friend who had taken the test who then mentions a couple questions he remembers to someone else? Furthermore, it seems really questionable to use copyright for this purpose. The test prep site wasn’t “competing” with GMAC. If anything, it was driving more business to GMAC by helping people get ready to take the GMAT.