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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Paper Mills
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0766  Wednesday, 28 April 1999.

[1]     From:   Anthony Burton <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 10:24:47 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

[2]     From:   Michael E. Cohen <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 07:47:52 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

[3]     From:   Andy White <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 10:21:10 -0400
        Subj:   Paper Mills -- More Info

[4]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 11:21:43 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0744 Re: Paper Mills

[5]     From:   Meg Powers Livingston <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 22:03:30 -0700
        Subj:   Amazon.com and paper mills

[6]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 14:32:41 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Anthony Burton <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 10:24:47 -0700
Subject: 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

There seems to be hardly any clearer moral imperative than for people to
participate in their own lives, and not complain or criticize, unless
they are prepared to do something themselves to resist what they
deplore.  In this light, refusal to do business with an entrepreneur
which is facilitating and profiting from the sale of materials designed
to provide unethical shortcuts for the work and experience that
supposedly make college degrees a trifle more desirable than, say,
prison discharge papers, seems to be an ideal form of consumer reaction
to the undesirable form of enterprise.  Tender concern for the "economic
livelihood" of amazon.com and others, reminds me of the "freedom of
contract" concerns which were proclaimed in opposition to the first laws
addressing maximum hours of work, the right to unionize, child labor
standards, and the like.  If the economic livelihood of amazon.com is
impacted at all it will prove that the vast majority of  purchasers from
the paper mills are NOT those with "legitimate requirements"  for their
services.  Those who disagree are free to provide the website as a
recommended resource.

I predict that, once the marketplace overcomes the inertia of mental
laziness which always opposes any change in the status quo, companies
like amazon.com will find profitable ways to employ the feedback
supplied by widescale disapproval  for one of their products.  There
must be some others besides myself old enough to remember how quickly
the auto industry learned from Ralph Nader that Americans, were not
"demanding" deadly hood ornaments and tail fins, nor unsafe,
gas-guzzling transportation.  Facts have their own moral imperative and,
with the replacement of a few mental and moral dinosaurs in the auto
industry, business has never been better.  If this be economic treason,
make the most of it, and let amazon.com profit by the example.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Michael E. Cohen <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 07:47:52 -0700
Subject: 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

Rick Jones writes:

>The site in question IS sponsored by amazon.com: their ad appears on the
>site's homepage (I checked!): they don't control the site, but they
>certainly could pull their ad if they chose to do so.  The site itself
>freely admits that what it is doing is selling term papers, either "from
>stock," as it were, or-for a higher price-written to order.

Ummm...have you ever looked into what is required to get the Amazon
badge on a site? Basically, you just copy it from Amazon's site. Click,
copy, paste. Period. Amazon does not even have to know you did it. This
is not sponsorship, any more than Nike is your sponsor if you decide to
become a mass murderer and wear a Nike emblem on your sweatshirt while
pulling the trigger.

The other way you get the badge is actually to sign a marketing
agreement with Amazon, and even here Amazon enters into such marketing
arrangements with just about anyone...ANYONE...who refers people to
their site. And all Amazon does is take your word for who you are and
what you claim to be in business doing. They don't have a Correctness
Patrol examining the bona fides of the tens of thousands of people who
enter into a marketing relationship with them. Is Budweiser your sponsor
because you own an illegal cock-fighting establishment and sell
Budweiser beer there and have a Budweiser sign above the ring (which you
got merely for ordering a certain number of cases of beer)?

I hold no brief for Amazon: they certainly threaten the independent
book-seller business (and Barnes and Noble has even more to answer for
in that regard than Amazon), and they probably are lax in tracking the
use of their badge through every virtual nook and cranny on the net, but
to let loose the dogs of war because some penny-ante little
term-paper-vending miscreants stuck a GIF image of Amazon's badge on
their nasty site is extreme over-reaction-and, I suggest, intellectually
lazy.

Before you start threatening boycotts and other Dire Righteous
Vengeance, it might be worthwhile to dig a little deeper. A mere site
visit (I saw the badge; they must be in cahoots!) does not constitute a
reliable investigation.

Michael Cohen

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andy White <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 10:21:10 -0400
Subject:        Paper Mills -- More Info

A member of another listserv (St. John's College alumni) offered this
clarification about the so-called "associates program" that this paper
mill works under.

He writes:

"The Amazon associates program is in no way similar to the relationship
between a parent company and its subsidiary. Amazon lets people put
links on their web pages which allow visitors to purchase books from
amazon. If I had a web page and linked to amazon, visitors could go
purchase books on the list. In exchange for sending business amazon's
way, the company gives the associate a small percentage of the profit.
Anybody with a web site can get this deal. Recently there was uproar
over an amazon associate site which was - I believe - racist. The site
was kicked out of the program when amazon received complaints."

"The program is really an advertising program that pays only for
success. It should be noted that amazon does not actively solicit
associates-anyone seeing the advertisement on amazon's site can fill out
a form. The agreement is pretty clear, the company has explicit
standards about website content (you can't promote sexually explicit
materials; promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex,
religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; promote
illegal activities; include "amazon" or variations or misspellings
thereof in their domain names; otherwise violate intellectual property
rights)"

The alumnus adds:

"I think one of the problems the company runs into is that people lie,
change the site after entering, or slip through the cracks."

We might want to wait and see whether Amazon.com is willing to take this
paper mill off their Associates list.  If they do, let's make sure
everyone hears about it.  If not, ditto.

Of course, this is the same company which accepts mega-bucks from
publishers to feature their books with rave reviews from Amazon staffers
attached.  They're already up the ethical creek, sans paddle; this paper
mill fiasco simply brings them further to sinking therein.

Andy White
Arlington, VA

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Billy Houck <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 11:21:43 EDT
Subject: 10.0744 Re: Paper Mills
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0744 Re: Paper Mills

In a message dated 4/26/99 9:01:29 AM, Alex Houck wrote:

>Not only does it reflect badly on the student themselves, but it is
>disrespectful the teacher or aide who reads the paper assuming that the
>student wrote it.  Plagiarism can be a real problem,

And you'll get caught.

I know your profs; no dummies be they.

Billy Houck
Alex's dad

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Meg Powers Livingston <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 22:03:30 -0700
Subject:        Amazon.com and paper mills

Hello, all:

I really didn't intend to open a can of worms-I just wanted to present
some information I thought others on this list would like to have, with
regards both to this newest addition to the web paper mills and to the
business activities of Amazon.com.  Since a number of you seem
interested, and for the sake of updating my initial information, here's
an email I received today from Amazon.com:

>>Hello from Amazon.com,

Thank you for writing to us about the Jungle Page.  We appreciate your
feedback on this site, and we will be looking into it further.

It is possible that our Association with this site will be ended if we
find that violates the guidelines of our program.  We do not Associate
with sites that

          promote sexually explicit materials
          promote violence
          promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion,
            nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age
          promote illegal activities
          violate intellectual property rights

Thanks for participating in the Associates program.  Let us know if we
can be of further assistance.

Best regards,

Jennifer Jenkins
Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com

I asked Ms. Jenkins to contact me regarding any decision Amazon.com
might come to regarding the Junglepage paper mill, and I'd be happy to
provide ongoing updates to anyone who contacts me off list.

Regards,
Meg Powers Livingston
UCLA, Department of English

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Tuesday, 27 Apr 1999 14:32:41 +0000
Subject: 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0755 Re: Paper Mills

There will always be those who attempt to cheat by using work done by
others in place of their own. In my youth there were ads in the
classified sections of local papers of college towns offering such
help.  There was also a black market of sorts in papers on an assortment
of topics, or at least, I heard there was.

A teacher who suspects that students may be using writing that's not
their own might request to see papers in progress, requiring that a
first draft be handed in by a certain amount of time in advance of the
deadline in order to get a passing grade. This would also teach students
that getting a first draft done early on greatly benefits the writing
process.

Stephanie Hughes
 

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