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?