Bot Ban – TurnitinBot

The has temporarily premanently banned from crawling our website. The following entry to robots.txt should suffice:

User-agent: TurnitinBot
Disallow: /

It has been bought to our attention that this bot is being run by a for-profit enterprise that can only exist by copying other people’s content to their own website. It then resells that content in the form of “checking” on student papers. Courts in the United States – for what they are worth – allow the company to do this claiming it is not a copyright infringement. We disagree. We will be reviewing the turnitin website and business practices in due course. We will publish our own article later on what appears to be nothing more than a commercial grass-up service. We will wait a few weeks to do so however, since we wish to also analyze the behavior of their bot. Should it misbehave we will develop firewall rules to keep it out.

Putative rules, based on IPs we’ve seen, on the outer firewall would be:

iptables -I FORWARD -d -j DROP
iptables -I FORWARD -s -j DROP

External Link:
TurnitinBot and Why You Should Block It

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