The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has issued a default judgment awarding the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) damages in the amount of $2.3 million, attorneys’ fees,
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McLean, Virginia–The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has issued a default judgment awarding the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) damages in the amount of $2.3 million, attorneys’ fees, court costs, and other relief in a copyright infringement case brought by GMAC against Lei Shi and other operators of the U.S.-based web site known as Scoretop.com.As part of the judgment, Scoretop representatives are prohibited from further infringements of GMAC’s intellectual property rights.
GMAC sued Shi for distributing copyrighted GMAT-related materials without GMAC’s permission through the Scoretop web site. Shi, who was living in the United States at the time the suit was filed and has since returned to his native China, is also the subject of a criminal investigation by federal law enforcement authorities. GMAC has worked extensively with federal law enforcement authorities on this case.
As part of its efforts to collect on the judgment, GMAC has seized various assets owned or controlled by Shi, including a computer hard drive that contains substantial information about the individuals who participated in Scoretop’s unlawful activities either as employees or agents of Shi or as “members” of the Scoretop site. GMAC has also seized the Scoretop domain name, which it now owns and controls. GMAC will review contents of the hard drive and other materials to determine if individuals have violated its testing policies through their participation in Scoretop. Violators may have their GMAT scores canceled, and business schools will be notified of those cancellations.
Comments GMAC President Dave Wilson, “GMAC vigorously protects its intellectual property rights in order to protect the integrity of the GMAT exam. This case is just one example of our continued pursuit of those who fail to respect our intellectual property rights and our testing policies.”
Wilson noted that GMAC is also “committed to reporting to schools any unethical behavior that we uncover regarding our testing policy and lack of compliance with that policy by candidates for admission who are sending their scores to schools.” He says that GMAC may refer appropriate cases to law enforcement authorities for criminal investigation, as it did in this case, in addition to canceling the GMAT scores of individuals who violate GMAC testing rules.
The GMAT exam, owned and administered by GMAC, was designed for candidates for the MBA degree and is used as part of the admissions process by more than 4,000 graduate management education programs worldwide. The test uses a computer adaptive format that is generally considered one of the most secure available. Each candidate receives different questions based on his or her response to the previous question.
Larry Rudner, GMAC vice president for research and development, says that accessing the limited content available from sites such as Scoretop does not guarantee a higher score on the GMAT: “Even if a site is illegally able to obtain some ‘real’ questions, it is extremely unlikely that a test taker will see the same questions on the live exam – a computer adaptive test has a bank of thousands of questions.”
The Graduate Management Admission Council (www.gmac.com), based in McLean, Va., is a non-profit education organization of leading graduate business schools worldwide dedicated to creating access to and disseminating information about graduate management education. For more information about GMAT, visit www.mba.com.