By Zick Rubin and Brenda Ulrich, Archstone Law Group PC
On September 25, 2023, Judge Andrew Carter of the federal district court in New York City certified a class of textbook authors in a class action brought against Cengage Learning (Bernstein v. Cengage Learning, Inc.). The lawsuit alleges that Cengage unfairly apportioned the revenues it received from sales of “MindTap” digital interactive versions of the authors’ texts, arbitrarily allocating to the authors either 50% or 75% of these revenues and reducing royalties accordingly. In the wake of the class certification, lawyers for the authors can proceed to seek reimbursement on a class-wide basis for the allegedly underpaid royalties. The class may consist of hundreds or thousands of authors, and the total claimed underpayment may total many millions of dollars.