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Follett Joins Educational Publishers and Distributors in Effort to Fight Counterfeit Textbooks

Follett Adopts Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices of Major Educational Publishers

WESTCHESTER, ILL., Oct 10, 2017 – Follett Corporation, the leading operator of college stores, announced today that it has agreed to participate, with Barnes & Noble Education, MBS, Chegg and Ingram, in the adoption of the Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices (“Best Practices”) of publishers Cengage, McGraw-Hill Education, Elsevier, and Pearson.  The Best Practices were developed by the four Publishers, which form the Educational Publishers Enforcement Group (“EPEG”).  The Best Practices have now been endorsed by the largest textbook distributors in the country, and may be viewed as the industry standard in combating counterfeit textbooks.

Using their years of experience, EPEG developed the Best Practices to assist distributors in avoiding and identifying counterfeit textbooks.  The Best Practices, available at, outline steps designed to verify suppliers and avoid illegitimate sources, recognize inventory that may be counterfeit, and provides for cooperation with the Publishers to review any suspect inventory.  Follett worked cooperatively with the Publishers through EPEG to achieve agreement on the Best Practices.

“Follett has always been committed to combating counterfeiting, and through productive dialogue with the publishers over the last several months, we are pleased to have found common ground with them in the ongoing fight against counterfeit textbooks,” said Clay Wahl, President, Follett Higher Education.   

“As the leading distributor of affordable college course material options of all types and formats, including physical, digital and rental, we look forward to working collaboratively with EPEG in the future to meet our common interest of providing students with affordable, authentic textbooks on college campuses throughout the United States and Canada.” 

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 available for authors and rights owners.

“Cengage is pleased that our industry working group and Follett have agreed to work together to continue and improve the fight against insidious counterfeit materials,” said Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage.  “We look forward to a close collaboration with our largest distributors, who are now all collectively aligned with us on Best Practices, to ensure our significant investments in course materials that support student success are protected.”

“We applaud Follett for taking additional steps to address the growing problem of counterfeit textbooks,” said Kevin Capitani, president, Pearson North America.  “As these anti-counterfeit book best practices become the industry standard, students will be the main beneficiaries as publishers and distributors work together to provide the highest quality materials in a variety of formats and at more affordable prices.”

“McGraw-Hill is pleased that Follett has adopted the Anti-Counterfeit Best Practices,” said McGraw-Hill Education CEO David Levin.  “We all share the goal of eliminating the theft of intellectual property, which reduces the incentive to enhance educational materials.  Our goal is to provide students with powerful learning materials that will help them succeed in college and beyond.  The more we work together, the more effective we can be at ensuring the integrity of the materials they use.”

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About Follett
As a leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content, Follett works with 70,000 schools and operates more than 1,250 local campus stores and 1,600 virtual stores across North America.  With the 2016 acquisition of Baker & Taylor, LLC, Follett's reach also extends into the public library and global retail markets. For more information, visit

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 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. For more information, visit

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 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

Media Contacts:

Tom Kline

Lindsay Stanley

Tom Reller

McGraw-Hill Education:
Catherine Mathis

Scott Overland