I love to post to mailing lists. I also run my own WWW site for my business and contribute articles to magazines. I maintain the copyright on all these items. I have given permission for people to come to my WWW site to have a look at these pages by the fact that they are publicly available. But I have not given express permission for companies to come to my WWW site to store a copy of the site in their database.
I know google and other search engines do this. I have no problem with them, as in general they are not charging their users for access to my work, and are not charging their clients to compare other documents against my work. TurnItIn did not ask me if they could index my WWW site, they just did it.
The only way I found out was through examining the logs. Sure, as soon as I found it, I put a specific ROBOTS.TXT rule to stop them accessing my WWW site, and they have removed all the pages they stored once I sent them a DMCA 'Cease and Desist' letter - but I should not have to do that. If they want to store documentation that I have written, then they need to ack my express permission.
And it is not as if I do not claim copyright on my pages. EVERY page on my site has a META tag listing copyright, as well as a message at the bottom of each page listing 'Copyright', the circled 'C' and the date of the copyright - as well as my email address. On every page.
The only time I have ever heard from them was when I requested they remove the stored files, which they say that they did. Why should I have to search their database to know that they have stolen my work?
A quick search of Google.com revealed at least 500 different pages that are likely to contain references to me - and that was just searching on my Ham Radio callsign, and not my name. Once you include my name the number is much higher. How do I protect all these pages from someone who is copying them with no reguard to my copyright?
Ah, but they are in the public domain I hear you say. You would be wrong. The only way for a work to enter the public domain is for it to loose all copyright protection - and as an Author I cannot renounce my copyright claim. I can offer an unlimited licence to the work for free, or assign it to another party, but I cannot place it in the public domain. The only way for it to enter the public domain is for me to die, and to be dead for 50 years [Since I am an Australian citizen].
Therefore TurnItIn cannot claim that my postings are in the public domain. I retain the copyright. What about Webzines? A compilation copyright is owned by the author, and he may have no objection to the work being archived by TurnItIn. But does that author have any right to allow TurnItIn to archive any work that I have produced? I dont think so.
Alternately, it may be possible to get TurnItIn to do the work for you. All you would need to do woule be to provide enough information to them to identify documents that you have copright over (Such as Name, Possable WWW sites, Possible Subjects, Possible Email Addresses) and then have them removed from their archive
The power with this is that when enough people claim this royalty there will be a huge ammount of paper work generated. This claim can also be for past use of works so there is no way for them to get out of paying by just deleting your content from their databases.
With many banks charging a dollar or more per cheque the financial implications are amazing. Also it should be remembered that for many organisations the cost of processing a single invoice may be $10-100 depending on if a purchase order needs to be raised.