Education publishers sue Amazon marketplace vendors

Education publishers sue Amazon marketplace vendors

Pearson Education, Cengage Learning and McGraw Hill have subpoenaed Amazon to reveal the names and financial accounts of online vendors who are allegedly selling low-cost pirated copies of the publishers’ books via the Amazon marketplace site.

According to a report in the Financial Times, the publishers are suing 100 unnamed Amazon marketplace sellers for copyright infringement, accusing the sellers of “hiding behind the anonymity of internet pseudonyms”. Although Amazon is not named as a defendant, the publishers said in a complaint filed in a New York court this month that the ability of the vendors to sell through the online giant “causes even greater damage” to their businesses, both to sales and to the perceived value of their books.

A spokesperson for Amazon told the FT: “Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeit items on our site. We are taking legal action and aggressively pursuing bad actors.”  

Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York ordered Amazon to freeze funds in any accounts connected to the accused sellers and to cease distributing any books on their behalf. A temporary restraining order also blocked the accused vendors from selling any counterfeit texts.