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|Thursday, April 05, 2001, updated at 11:07(GMT+8)|
ETS Statement Concerning Copyright Violations by New Oriental School and Various WebsitesEducational Testing Service (ETS) understands that recent media coverage concerning its lawsuit against New Oriental School, for illegal use of ETS's GRE and TOEFL examination materials, has created confusion as to the facts of the situation. These reports have raised anxiety among Chinese students seeking admission to US-based universities. As a result, ETS feels that it is important to provide Chinese students and the general public the facts of the case.
Letter to the US-based Universities
The GRE and TOEFL Boards are comprised of representatives from leading US universities and colleges who serve to ensure the fairness and integrity of the admissions process. The Boards are specifically intended to analyze and take action to safeguard the admissions process, independent of ETS.
The GRE and TOEFL Boards became aware of the illegal distribution of copyright materials and student access to undisclosed test questions. The GRE Board also noted a sharp increase in the GRE examination scores of Chinese students.
In an effort to safeguard the fairness and integrity of the admissions process, the GRE and TOEFL Boards decided to share their findings with US-based universities and officials responsible for research institute entrance examinations through a letter. The boards took this action because they felt the situation warranted attention in order to assure equity for student applicants from all around the world. The letter specifically called upon universities not to impeach the test scores of any individual based on this information. It encourages universities to consider all elements of an applicant's file, not just their GRE test score in the admissions process.
Technical Problems Associated With the Computerized Testing
ETS does not believe that the sharp increase in the Chinese student test scores is due to implementation of the computer testing system. The computer testing system has been administered worldwide and a significant increase in scores has only occurred among examinations from China.
Illegal Dissemination of ETS Test Materials Through the Internet & Other Channels
ETS had legally authorized New Oriental School to use its TOEFL exam materials; however, ETS has learned that New Oriental School violated this agreement. For this reason, ETS has deferred any decision regarding authorization of New Oriental School to use its GRE exam materials. Without our permission, New Oriental School has used, copied and sold ETS's copyrighted GRE exam materials.
In addition, ETS has been made aware of a number of educational Web sites that illegally publish undisclosed TOEFL, GRE and GMAT exam questions and answers, providing some students with an unfair advantage. This practice puts students who have prepared for their exams without using these pirated materials, both in China and elsewhere, at an unfair disadvantage in the admission process. ETS requests that these Web sites remove the exam materials from their sites immediately.
Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
ETS initiated legal proceedings in an effort to protect its copyrights on its exam materials, which is also essential to the integrity of the examination system and the university admissions process. In no way is the lawsuit intended to penalize Chinese students but instead is an effort to protect them.
Nor is this an attack targeted against New Oriental School or the web sites. It is only the engagement of rule of law to stop copyright infringement and piracy. ETS has always attached great importance to the protection of copyrights and the interests of copyright owners. As a result, ETS has decided to address this copyright infringement problem through legal channels.
We believe that by resolving this issue in a timely and judicious manner we will be able to protect the reputation of ETS and the students who depend on the test results for university admissions. ETS will try to bring this to a conclusion as soon as possible.
As part of China's further economic development, the government has promulgated new policies, regulations and laws to strengthen intellectual property rights. ETS applauds these efforts and will continue to protect itself and promote the rule of law, working cooperatively with the government.
ETS's Commitment to the Chinese Educational System
ETS has always been committed to working with China's educational system through open communications and cooperation. ETS also continuously seeks to better meet the needs of all students, in China and elsewhere, in order to provide a useful, professional and well structured testing program in China. ETS has always been dedicated to providing students with effective test preparation materials and will continuously improve these services for student, in China and around the world. As part of this commitment, ETS is interested in hearing from test preparation schools in China to explore the authorized use of our test preparation materials.
ETS has invested tremendous resources to offer free exam materials on the Internet for students all over the world, and beginning this September, will provide Powerprepa (a computer testing preparation software) to all students free of charge.
ETS would also like to express its sincere thanks to those individuals and organizations that have supported its operations in China for many years. ETS looks forward to your continued support and understanding.
ETS has entrusted APCO China as its public relations agency in China. For inquiries, please contact:
Tel: (86) 10 6505-5127 Fax:(86) 10 6505-5257
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