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Major educational content providers and distributors join together to fight counterfeit textbooks

Cengage, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson have joined forces with distributors Ingram and Chegg, Inc. to have them adopt and implement a set of Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices designed to address the growing problem of counterfeit print textbooks. The Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices are intended to assist distributors with combating counterfeits of print textbooks that hurt students, educators, publishers and distributors.

The education world has been plagued by an increase in counterfeit books in recent years, resulting in poorer quality materials for students and reduced incentives for publishers to invest in new programs and instructional materials.
Ingram and Chegg are the first distributors to work proactively with publishers to mitigate distribution of counterfeits through adoption and implementation of the Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices.

Over the last several years, publishers have actively enforced their legal rights against individuals and companies found distributing counterfeit materials.

“Because Chegg puts students first, our driving interest is in ensuring students get the genuine textbooks that they need, ordered and paid for,” said Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg. “We share this goal with our partners and together we are working to put a stop to counterfeiting.”

“McGraw-Hill is pleased to see Chegg and Ingram take this step, which reduces the serious threat posed by counterfeits to authors and benefits students and educators by incentivizing the development of new educational materials,” said McGraw-Hill Education CEO, David Levin. “We are pleased they have committed to implement the new Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices to pro-actively combat this scourge.”

The best practices outline steps to verify suppliers and avoid illegitimate sources. They require distributors to inspect inventory that has a higher risk of being counterfeit and prevent it from infecting their inventory. And when a distributor finds counterfeit books, there is agreement to share information about the materials and the supplier with the publishers so they can focus their enforcement efforts on those culprits. The Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices will be made available on the educational website with the goal that all publishers and distributors adopt and implement them as well. Publishers will pursue their legal rights against anyone who is involved or who facilitates the distribution and sale of counterfeit textbooks, as well as those who engage in digital piracy.

“We are committed to fight piracy in all forms,” said Cengage CEO, Michael Hansen. “Pirates enrich themselves at the expense of students, authors, our employees and shareholders. We will not rest until the market has been cleansed of all illegal materials.”

“Ingram is pleased to partner with the publishing community to ensure that students and educators receive quality, legitimate textbooks,” said John R. Ingram, Ingram’s Chairman. “We will continue to work hand-in-hand with publishers to address the problem of counterfeit textbooks and encourage the rest of the industry to join us in making the marketplace a reliable one for students.”

“The theft of intellectual property ultimately shortchanges students and faculty,” said Tim Bozik, president, global product at Pearson. “We will continue to advocate for the integrity of high quality courseware and are pleased to be working with distributors who share that commitment. We encourage others in the industry to join us in tackling this challenge.”