Professor suing students who he thinks cheated on his exams

Chapman University business professor David Berkovitz claims that he found test questions from his exams on the Course Hero website that he thinks were posted by students seeking to cheat. So he's suing the students, who remain unknown, for copyright infringement. According to the suit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, the students allegedly "infringed Berkovitz's exclusive right to reproduce, make copies, distribute, or create derivative works by publishing the Midterm Exam and Final Exam on the Course Hero website without Berkovitz's permission." From the Washington Post:

Berkovitz, who is also a lawyer, has no intention of gouging the students for money, [his attorney Marc] Hankin clarified. His real goal is to force Course Hero to reveal who posted the questions and find out whether they received help answering them last spring. Then he plans to pass the names on to Chapman's honor board for possible disciplinary action.

"He's not trying to bankrupt his students or their parents," Hankin said. "What he's trying to do is prevent cheating and have a chilling effect on students cheating going forward."[…]

Berkovitz's motivation is more nuanced than just holding students accountable forcheating on his exams, his attorney said. Because Chapman's business school grades students on a curve, anyone who cheated and may have received a higher grade possibly affected the curve for students who followed the honor code and received a lower score.

image: Steve Cukrov/