Let’s take a moment to focus on the more ethical aspects of research and the ethical or legal implications of buying papers online. A lawyer chimes in on the legality of buying custom papers on the internet. Your professor might wish it were illegal, but the truth is…read on.
Different people will give you different answers
If you take a wild guess, what are your thoughts about the essay writing industry? Is it legal for you to buy papers online? If you ask your parents, what would be their views of buying papers online? This is obviously a matter of perspective. Your parents will outrightly deny that buying papers online can be legal in any way and would suggest that it is an illegal process which you should avoid. Your teachers will warn you that buying papers online is obviously illegal and you shouldn’t be using any of these services. However, some supervisors and professors will encourage you to consult editing and proofreading services but will probably advise against essay writing services.
What about your friends? Your friends might think essay writing services are cool and using them is okay, and would not necessarily worry whether the process is legal or illegal. So, should you worry whether the writing services or essay services that you have used or plan to use are legal? Of course you should worry. It is your right to know whether any type of service that you use on the internet or elsewhere is legal or illegal. You’ll be pretty surprised to hear that an essay writing service or any other writing service for that matter is perfectly legal. I’ll tell you why.
The truth about ghostwriting services
When you use essay writing services, you are technically using ghostwriting services, and ghostwriting services are legal. Although, this is where things get a bit confusing. Whereas ghostwriters for celebrities or ghostwriting authors do not really offer illegal services, ghostwriters for students have to make it clear that the essays produced are not meant for plagiarism or passing off someone else’s work as your own. So, Ivanka Trump can get a ghostwriter and get a book written by others and you as a student, can’t get an essay written by other people. Why is the world so unjust?
The reason is, the educational system has certain rules and regulations, which probably even the White House doesn’t have. The educational system does not see ghostwriters or ghostwriting services as illegal, but when students use these services and pass off a ghostwriter’s work as their own, then this practice is considered illegal. Why is that?
The challenges of being a student
Well, as a student you are expected to learn and do your own work. You are doing your degree for your own academic development, so you are expected to participate in your coursework and complete your own essays. This is what supervisors expect. Of course, when you are all caught up in your job, family pressures or other personal circumstances such as health conditions, you sometimes require external help from essay writers, so that you can finally complete that coursework you enrolled in. Otherwise your academic dreams are shattered.
As an experienced academic writer, I can tell you, most of my clients are older adults with health problems, some battling serious diseases like cancer; some have children and careers and need more hours in the day, such as many of my clients from WGU ; whereas some others may be going through depression or other forms of illness or simply do not have the capabilities of writing an essay. Others are physically or academically challenged and yet want to complete the degrees they paid for. In these cases, they do seek help from an essay writer, and sometimes essay writers are more than happy to oblige, because they know they are facilitating the academic achievements of struggling students.
Do struggling students need essay writers?
Essay writing services operate with complete legality
Yet, to be very sure, whether using essay writing services is illegal, let me tell you that simply using a service can never be illegal. Now suppose you read a book and do not understand what’s written in the book and ask someone (say an online tutor) to explain this to you. The online tutor sends you an explanation via email and you pay him. Essay writing is a type of online tutoring. You pay to get a better understanding of your research question or the topic as suggested by your supervisor. You pay to get an essay, blog, discussion post, a Q&A, research proposal or a full thesis. You take the help of the essay writer or online tutor to get a better understanding of your thesis or research paper. However, once you get the research paper or thesis, would you pass it off as your own?
Essay companies follow some strict rules in matters of copyright. Most essay companies would ask you to sign their terms and ask for an identification to ensure that you are who you claim to be and follow the basic rules of using the essay writing service. Most legitimate essay writing services also ask you to sign terms and conditions that the essays belong to the writing service or company and cannot be misused. This means you are technically not allowed to pass off a writer’s work as your own because you don’t get the copyright to such work. Essay writing services are legally safe as they operate as online tutoring businesses and help you with their coursework, yet retain all copyright of the work, so technically you can only use these essays as reference, just like a book or a research paper. You cannot hand them in to your supervisor for grading. Now if you do that, that would be completely illegal.
What does this mean? It simply means that essay writing services are not illegal, they are legally completely safe. Your action of handing in an essay writer’s work for grading could be illegal considering copyright law or information technology law. So the onus of legality seems to be on you. How clever or dumb is that? That’s how the world works.
Essay writing companies need to run legal businesses in order to operate and to do so, they must follow certain rules and one of these rules is to not sell copyright of the work they are selling. They operate their business just like a custom-written book industry, these companies are the publishers and sell the custom-written material to just one client but they retain copyrights. In some cases, essay writing services would resell the papers written for a client. Again, they can legally do this, as most of these companies control the copyright to the essays, they do not sell copyright.
So, when you do take the services of essay writing companies, you are expected to understand the rules and terms and use the essays only as references, rather than as your own. If you pass off a custom-written essay as your own, you are unlikely to get caught immediately. But your teacher may remember the essay and discover it somewhere. Then what do you do? You will be simply caught for plagiarizing and kicked out of school. Is it legal for essay writers to provide writing services to students?
Online tutors or Essay writers?
Let’s see what a lawyer has to say
I interviewed a lawyer about essay writing services. He is a specialist in copyright law and internet law.
Hello Sir – I understand you are a lawyer who has dealt extensively with digital law and internet law. I understand that you also practise in the area of copyright law.
That is correct. I work in the fields of copyright law, and internet and digital law.
What is so unique about the internet and digital legal processes?
Well, as far as internet or copyright law is concerned, we primarily deal with information technology, security issues and data protection. We also advise clients on copyright protection and intellectual property laws.
What would be your advice to students who seek online tutoring, essay writing or related services?
Online tutoring and essay writing are two different things, but legally there is very little difference as online tutoring can be focused on solving problems, giving advice, whereas essay writing is about providing custom written essays to students that are also focused on solving problems and providing guidance to students.
So would you consider essay writing services as illegal?
Well, many people do consider essay writing services to be illegal. However that is a lame or common sense view of the law. The laws that direct information technology, its use and applications are actually more complex. As a lawyer, I would not consider essay writing services to be illegal. However misuse or abuse of these services can be considered as illegal.
That is true for any service in the world, right?
That’s correct, any service can be misused but may not be inherently illegal.
So you are in favor of these essay writing services?
Obviously I am not. I do not favor or endorse such services, but I cannot really say that these are illegal services or companies. They possibly function on the edge of legality and illegality, and frankly they are not breaking the law and as long as they advise students to not pass off these essays as their own and maintain their copyright laws, these services cannot be identified as illegal.
But everyone seems to think that these essay writing companies are illegal?
That is because they do not understand how the law works. These are ghostwriting services and ghostwriting services are not considered illegal.
That’s great, but why do search engines try to block these sites ? These are legitimate businesses as you say?
Well, despite being legitimate businesses, almost all essay writing companies provide custom written essays or Q&As, and students invariably pass off these papers as their own. So even if the intent of the companies is not illegal, the practice by the customers seem to be illegal.
So, would you say that customers or students are primarily responsible for how they use these essays provided? Should they be more aware on what type of use is illegal?
I am sure students are mature enough to realize that someone else’s work should not be pass off as their own work. That is unethical and a copyright violation. That is also illegal and amounts to plagiarism for which the student can get suspended.
So, what would be your advice?
Well, there are services that offer guidance, editing, proofreading, restructuring and provide general tutoring, these sites do not offer to write student papers and I prefer those. So, if you really need help, seek the help on online tutor who can guide you to write better.
Do you realize that some students who use these services may have physical conditions such as dyslexia or other forms of mental and physical illness?
Yes I do know that some physically or psychologically disabled students may require some form of external help to successfully complete their coursework and they may be severely running out of time, so they seek the help of essay writers as a last resort. I understand the challenges faced by most students but I still do not accept that students cannot write their own projects.
In most cases, students do write their projects and send in to essay writers for editing and rewriting. What do you think of these services in general?
As I already pointed out, services can be more effective and appear more legitimate if these provide guidance to students rather than essays and dissertations. Although I do understand that some services do provide guidance and help to failed students, physically disabled students and so on.
What is your final advice to students?
Well, my advice is – do your own work. If you need help, ask writers and editors to provide you with guidance rather than write essays for you. If time is short, use model essays but don’t hand these over as your own.
Is the essay writer meant to guide you?
So, now that you know what a lawyer thinks about essay writing, you do not have to worry about whether the services are illegal. Essay writing services are legal, they work within the legal system and follow basic copyright law and intellectual property law and so on. However, when you use these services, you have to be more cautious about how you use the final products. As a general rule do not hand in essays without reading these thoroughly. Do not hand in essays written by an essay writer without changing and tweaking things considerably. Do not use these writing services to get your degree. Use these services to get advice and guidance on how to get a degree. Finally, read up copyright law, intellectual property law, internet law and information technology laws. That should help.
Is it legal to buy papers online? A lawyer’s perspective…
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