Publisher Copyright Program
We have represented a group of publishers in two copyright enforcement programs.
We developed programs to enforce a group of publishers' copyrights against unauthorized sales of two types of higher education works:
- instructors' solutions manuals, and
- foreign editions of textbooks.
The Instructors' Solutions Manual Program
Instructors' solutions manuals aid instructors in grading homework and exams, and are part of a suite of valuable teaching and learning resources. Unfortunately they were ending up in the hands of students who used them to cheat, undermining the educational process for all students.
In 2006, a group of higher education publishers hired our firm to stem the online black market sales. We have brought more than 40 lawsuits against infringers, and have successfully tried two cases to verdict.
The result: students who want to cheat are finding it much more difficult to obtain the manuals.
The Foreign Editions Program
Educational publishers serve students around the world by selling locally adapted versions of their textbooks at prices and quality appropriate for diverse global markets. The practice of market segmentation helps keep prices down for U.S. students by spreading production costs over more sales.
But some sellers began purchasing the textbooks in developing economies and reselling them in the United States at a substantial profit. This grey market activity cut into sales, reduced publishers' revenue, and raised prices for legitimate buyers.
In 2006, a group of higher education publishers hired our firm to stop the textbook arbitrage by enforcing their U.S. copyrights. We thereafter commenced more than 60 actions against sellers of foreign editions.
In one case, Wiley v. Kirtsaeng, which we tried in November 2009, we succeeded in obtaining a judgment for $600,000 against a graduate student who had generated revenue of more than $1 million from the arbitraged foreign editions. We successfully defended the judgment on appeal before the Second Circuit. The Supreme Court, however, granted Kirtsaeng's petition for a writ of certiorari on April 16, 2012, and reversed in a decision issued March 19, 2013. Our firm did not participate in the Supreme Court proceedings.