I'm a university lecturer in Australia teaching mathematics. I produce question sheets for my students. It takes significant effort to produce high-quality questions. These question sheets are protected under copyright law. A US-based website allows students to post these sheets and pay for someone else to provide solutions which are then uploaded back to the website. The website appears to be based in California.

They provide a mechanism to take the sheets down by filing a copyright complaint. It can take a long time to be processed, by which time an answer can be uploaded and the cheating student sometimes gets a terrible solution, but sometimes gets a good solution. Once they have taken this down, the sheet is often re-uploaded.

In my current iteration, we are dealing with the 3rd round of takedown requests for the same material. It takes longer to make a decision about whether to take it down than it seems to take for the student(s) to reupload the questions afterwards.

What legal options do I have if this happens repeatedly? This company definitely has the technical sophistication required to ensure that material that has previously been taken down for copyright infringement cannot be reuploaded,

  • 1
    DMCA takedown. Each singe time. The act says they have to take the stuff down as soon as possible, which in practice depends on the provider: sometimes below 24 hours, most often below 3 days.
    – Trish
    Sep 11, 2020 at 8:31
  • There is a repeat infringer clause in the DMCA, but that probably would only apply if the same student is uploading copyrighted material repeatedly. Sep 11, 2020 at 12:07
  • I suspect it is the same student (first time they got Q 1-5 answered, this time they are asking for Q 6-9), but they won't provide me with the information on who is doing it.
    – Joel
    Sep 11, 2020 at 12:41
  • 1
    @random_downvoter - I recognize I'm new to this particular site, but if I'm asking something out of the scope (or there's something else wrong with my question), I won't learn the standards at law.stackexchange.com from a downvote without an explanation.
    – Joel
    Sep 11, 2020 at 14:14
  • 2
    @Joel Some users here take an absurdly formalist approach to Law.SE's rule against asking for legal advice. Anyone who asks a question about anything that has actually happened to them can safely expect to get at least one knee-jerk downvote or vote to close the question.
    – bdb484
    Sep 11, 2020 at 16:10


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