It’s time to throw the book at Chegg

Note: this is my last blog post on “the law and ethics of Chegg.”

Why hasn’t Chegg, the largest and most successful online contract-cheating platform in the world, been shut down yet? My Criminal Complaint against Chegg is now available here, via SSRN. Note that I am going after Chegg for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and not for copyright infringement. One could argue that Chegg facilitates IP theft by allowing students to post test questions and exam problems on its platforms because, technically speaking, many of those tests and exams are the intellectual property of the professors who wrote them up. The problem with this argument, however, is that Chegg is able to avoid liability for copyright infringement through a loophole in copyright law, a crafty loophole created by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. To the point, Chegg is able to avoid copyright infringement through its notice and take-down policies. Although its cumbersome take-down procedures are bullshit (faculty can’t just fire off an email to Chegg demanding to have their exam questions taken down; Chegg requires a formal letter from a university administrator), Chegg exploits this loophole to stay in business. As a result, my Criminal Complaint against Chegg alleges wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Also, as I mentioned in my previous Chegg post, because Chegg is an online service and does business across the United States, any U.S. Attorney in any federal judicial district could bring charges against Chegg. Any takers?

Corporate and White-Collar Prosecutions At All-Time Lows

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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18 Responses to It’s time to throw the book at Chegg

  1. Abogada Guerra says:

    Happy Birthday ❤

  2. Happy Birthday Enrique.

    • Thanks. I taught my first in person class in ages! (Fortunately, it was in a large classroom with a small number of students.)

      • The first step towards post-pandemic normalcy.
        I haven’t been in the office since March 2020.

        They keep devising convoluted processes for voluntary “return-to-office” measures. The company’s least on the building is up in November. Who knows what the future holds!

      • I am assuming first in-person class in over a year?

      • I taught one in person section in the fall of 2020 (16 students), and an honors section in the spring of this year (20 students), but both were in large classrooms and masks were required (even I had to wear one). This was my first in person since the end of March of this year, and no masks were required, so I ditched mine. Thankfully, there are only 13 students and the room is a large one.

      • Hopefully, the student-to-classroom size ratio remains dispersed for the near future!

      • Also in your opinion when should a cut a post in two? I am working on my current draft and it is already 1500 words long. Would a 2000 or 2500 word blog entry be overkill?

      • I am probably in the minority on this (as so many blog posts are so long these days, especially good ones like those by Scott Alexander, Eliezer Yudkowsky, etc.), but I generally try to adhere to the five-paragraph rule from grade school by breaking up my longer blog posts into chunks of five paragraphs (sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the idea that I am trying to convey).

      • Well noted. I know my writing style isn’t necessarily the most engaging, so I have to be careful to make sure I am not putting people to sleep.

      • Either way, the key is getting your ideas “out there” … Have you thought of applying for a fellowship or grant via Emergent Ventures? Here is their link:

      • Mercatus has so many fellowships, I didn’t even know this one existed. Considering there does not appear to be any firm deadlines or credentialing requirements…. I am game!

      • crea8ive53 says:

        My opinion was not asked with reference to blog-post lengths, but in my blog I tend to let a topic run its desired course in one shot. If it threatens to runs too too long, then I work on excising the unessentials. Enrique’s blog is different in that he covers topics much as he would conduct classes, so him spreading his “long-form” topics over several segments, I get. On the other hand, Enrique will post many more “short subjects” (old movie terminology) than I do, which often lead to further thoughts way beyond the space he devotes to the post. Enrique’s blog has a compelling diversity of subject matter, lengths of topics, and amount of brain-engagement required. I’ve learned to tune-out the heavy-duty libertarian stuff and enjoy the rest! 🙂

  3. crea8ive53 says:

    Thank you for informing me about Chegg, which I hadn’t heard of. Will read more about.

  4. crea8ive53 says:

    This seems to fit in with the idea, “Do Degrees Mean Anything?”

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