Textbook publisher Pearson sues Chegg for copyright infringement
The UK publisher and educational services company Pearson on Monday filed a copyright lawsuit against textbook rental and “homework help” service Chegg, alleging the company was selling answers to questions posed in its manuals.
The lawsuit, filed in New Jersey, claims that Chegg – which offers a $ 14.95 monthly subscription service that allows students to access answers to questions found in more than 9,000 textbooks, many of which are published by Pearson – violates Pearson’s “exclusive rights”. as the copyright holder ”because the company uses Pearson’s content for a profit.
In some cases, the lawsuit reads, the answers Chegg provides through its subscription service “just copy and repeat the end-of-chapter questions from Pearson, or any other copyrighted material from Pearson, verbatim ”. The lawsuit also claims that Chegg made the majority of its $ 644 million total revenue in 2020 through its subscription service, which increased the number of subscribers by 67% to 6.6 million users in 2020.
“Whether, when and how Pearson provides sets of answers to his textbook questions is a right held by Pearson which Chegg has usurped for himself,” the lawsuit reads.
Pearson and Chegg have done business with each other, the lawsuit acknowledges, but since July they have also been competing in the textbook subscription service market. On July 30, Pearson announced that it would begin selling a subscription service that includes more than 1,500 of its own digital textbooks, similar to Chegg’s subscription service that allows students to rent textbooks online. The lawsuit does not mention Pearson’s new subscription service.
Pearson seeks unspecified damages in the lawsuit, as well as an order requiring Chegg to “deliver for destruction all products, packaging, labels, literature, advertising and other material manufactured or used in violation of copyright. of Pearson ”.