Education Law

Chapman University professor files infringement suit to learn which students posted exam questions online

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A Chapman University business professor has claimed in a lawsuit that unknown students who posted his midterm and final exam questions on Course Hero, a website in which students share documents from college classes, infringed on his copyright.

The professor, David Berkovitz, is also a lawyer, the Washington Post reports.

His March 11 lawsuit contends that the students who posted the questions from the spring 2021 exams infringed on his right to “reproduce, make copies, distribute or create derivative works.”

The Orange County Register also has coverage.

Berkovitz’s lawyer, Marc Hankin, told the publications that he intends to subpoena Course Hero, an education technology website company based in Redwood City, California, to learn who posted the exams. The students apparently posted the questions during the remote exams with requests for help on the answers.

Hankin said Berkovitz may drop the case after he learns who posted the questions and whether they received any help. The aim, Hankin said, is to give the students’ names to Chapman University’s honor board for possible discipline.

“He’s not trying to bankrupt his students or their parents,” Hankin told the Washington Post. “What he’s trying to do is prevent cheating and have a chilling effect on students cheating going forward.”

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