July 31, 2017: Cengage, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson today announced an agreement with Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. to implement the industry’s Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices. The best practices were developed to assist publishers and distributors in combating counterfeits of print textbooks, a growing problem facing the industry.

Sales of counterfeit books are harmful to students, educators, publishers and distributors. The rise of illegal counterfeit materials in the market results in reduced incentives for publishers to invest in new content and technology to improve learning. In addition, distribution of counterfeit materials infringes on the publishers’ copyright and trademark rights and ultimately limits royalties due to authors and designers.

Barnes & Noble Education and MBS Textbook Exchange, one of the largest textbooks distributors that was recently acquired by Barnes & Noble Education, joins Ingram and Chegg as distributors working proactively with publishers to reduce the distribution of counterfeit materials.

“At Barnes & Noble Education, our mission is to serve the students and faculty at our campuses nationwide. We recognize the importance of protecting the intellectual rights of publishers and authors, and remain steadfast in our ongoing commitment to enforce these rights as we have in the past, now guided by the publishers’ Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices. We look forward to working with our publishing partners to ensure the higher education community has access to authentic, high-quality course materials,” said Patrick Maloney, President, Barnes & Noble College.

“As a standalone company and, now, as part of Barnes & Noble Education, MBS has always taken the fight against counterfeiting very seriously. We will continue to work with our publishing partners to get affordable, authentic textbooks into the hands of students,” said David Henderson, President, MBS.

“By closely collaborating with Barnes & Noble Education and other industry partners in our fight against counterfeit sales, we stand united in our commitment to reduce the negative impact of piracy in the market,” said Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “We will continue to be aggressive in our efforts to protect our intellectual property rights and the rights of our authors so that we can continue to invest in innovation to improve teaching and learning.”

“We are pleased to engage with Barnes & Noble College and like-minded leaders in the industry to demonstrate our solidarity against counterfeiting,” said Suzanne BeDell, Managing Director, Education, Reference & Continuity, Elsevier. “Working together will help protect the IP of our authors and safeguard the public from piracy’s negative effects.”

The best practices outline steps to verify suppliers and avoid illegitimate sources. They require distributors to verify the sources of their textbooks, inspect inventory that has a high 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 the culprits.

The Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices are available at www.stopcounterfeitbooks.com with the goal that all publishers and distributors adopt and implement them as well. The Educational Publishers Enforcement Group (EPEG) is committed to pursuing 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. EPEG is hopeful that the adoption of the Best Practices by Barnes & Noble Education’s 1,400 physical and virtual bookstores will prove to have a dramatic effect on the number of counterfeits currently in the marketplace. EPEG is also currently in discussions with other distributors to sign on to the Best Practices as well.

“McGraw-Hill is pleased to see Barnes & Noble Education join Chegg and Ingram in adopting these best practices. We hope other distributors will follow their lead,” said McGraw-Hill Education CEO, David Levin. “The trade in counterfeits is not a benign one – it is based on the theft of intellectual property, and reduces the incentive to create new and improved educational materials.”

“By agreeing to these best practices, Barnes & Noble College is setting a strong example on the right way to combat counterfeit textbooks and piracy,” said Kevin Capitani, president, North America at Pearson. “We will continue to advocate for the integrity of high quality courseware and are pleased to be working with distributors that share that commitment.”

The Publishers worked cooperatively through EPEG to achieve agreement with Barnes & Noble Education on the Best Practices. EPEG was represented by Oppenheim + Zebrak, LLP, and Barnes & Noble Education was represented by Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, LLP.

About Barnes & Noble Education

Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), is one of the largest contract operators of physical and virtual bookstores for higher education and K-12 institutions, one of the largest textbook wholesalers, and a leading provider of digital education services. Through its Barnes & Noble College and MBS subsidiaries, Barnes & Noble Education operates 1,481 physical and virtual bookstores and serves more than 6 million students. Through LoudCloud, its digital education platform, Barnes & Noble Education offers a suite of digital software, content and services. Barnes & Noble Education acts as a strategic partner to drive student success; provide value and support to students and faculty; and create loyalty and improve retention, all while supporting the financial goals of college and university partners.

General information on Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company’s corporate website: www.bned.com.

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. Cengage creates learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. The company is headquartered in Boston with an office hub in San Francisco. Employees reside in nearly 40 countries with sales in more than 125 countries around the world. Visit us at www.cengage.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray’s Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

About McGraw-Hill Education

McGraw-Hill Education is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals drive results. McGraw-Hill Education has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America and makes its learning solutions available in more than 60 languages. Visit us at mheducation.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more information, visit Pearson.com.


Media Contacts:

Barnes & Noble Education:
Carolyn J. Brown

Lindsay Stanley

Tom Reller
Global Communications

McGraw-Hill Education:
Catherine Mathis

Scott Overland