Educational Publishers Obtain Preliminary Injunction Against 63 Illegal eBook Websites that Use Online Ads to Sell Pirated Content

Educational Publishers Obtain Preliminary Injunction Against 63 Illegal eBook Websites that Use Online Ads to Sell Pirated Content
Educational Publishers Obtain Preliminary Injunction Against 63 Illegal eBook Websites that Use Online Ads to Sell Pirated Content

NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2020 Powered by LawFuel— The Educational Publishers Enforcement Group (EPEG) publishers, consisting of CengageElsevierMacmillan LearningMcGraw Hill and Pearson, have obtained a Preliminary Injunction from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against 63 eBook websites that sell illegal, unlicensed eBooks using the functionalities of Google and Microsoft. EPEG publishers filed suit for copyright and trademark infringement against these websites on August 12, 2020, and on the same date obtained a Temporary Restraining Order that required the immediate shutdown of the infringing activity on these websites, as well as the cessation of the services that support the illegal websites. 

Through the Preliminary Injunction, that injunctive relief has now been extended through the pendency of the litigation. This is the third suit since November 2019 that EPEG publishers have brought against pirate eBook websites, and the third time they have successfully obtained a Preliminary Injunction.

Like the two prior lawsuits, the current lawsuit states that the operators of the pirate eBook websites pay Google to place prominent ads in response to searches for the publishers’ legitimate content. The current case also involves the use of similar ads by some of the pirate websites on Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The use of ads to sell infringing content runs counter to Google’s and Microsoft’s own policies and has led to an infestation of pirated eBooks for sale online. In addition to the veneer of legitimacy provided to these pirate websites by their seemingly legitimate Google and Bing ads, the websites rely on legitimate payment processors, domain hosts and other internet service providers, all of whom are required by the Court’s injunction to stop facilitating the pirate websites’ illegal activity.

“Once again, the Court has shown that illegal behavior doesn’t pay for the operators of these pirate websites. Selling illegal eBooks harms authors, publishers and everyone else involved in the legitimate textbook industry. Publishers are committed to protecting their investment in scholarship, academic instruction and learning,” said Matt Oppenheim, who serves as lead counsel to EPEG publishers.

The sale of pirated textbooks injures students, who do not receive legitimate copies of the products they seek to purchase. Piracy also causes publishers financial injury, creating a ripple effect impacting the ability to invest in the creation of new works and scholarly contributions that benefit education as a whole. EPEG publishers’ enforcement efforts seek to stop online piracy and create a level playing field for those distributors and businesses that purchase and sell legitimate and licensed products.

About Cengage

Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service. We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirectScopusSciValClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 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.

About Macmillan Learning

Macmillan Learning is a privately held, family owned company that improves lives through learning. By linking research to learning practice, we develop pioneering products and learning materials for students that are highly effective and drive improved outcomes. Our engaging content is developed in partnership with the world’s best researchers, educators, administrators and developers. To learn more, please visit or see us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, or join our Macmillan Community

About McGraw Hill

McGraw Hill is a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that drive results for students, parents, educators and professionals. We focus on educational equity, affordability and learning success to help learners build better lives. Headquartered in New York City, McGraw Hill has offices across North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions for PreK-12, higher education, professionals and others available in more than 75 languages. Visit us at or find us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn or Twitter.

About Pearson

We are the world’s learning company with more than 24,000 employees operating in 70 countries and a mission to help people make progress in their lives through learning. We combine world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning at scale. We believe that wherever learning flourishes so do people. For more information, visit

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