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Textbook Company Gives Chegg Another Problem to Solve

Pearson Education Files Suit Against Chegg for Copyright Infringement

In the educational market, Chegg, Inc. ("Chegg") exists as a paid service that assists students in their schoolwork. Part of their business model includes providing detailed answers to help students understand their homework that comes from various textbooks and materials from unaffiliated publishers. On September 13, 2021, a textbook company called Pearson Education, Inc. ("Pearson") filed a lawsuit against Chegg alleging that Chegg reproduced and distributed its materials without permission.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon. Pexels

In its complaint, Pearson asserts that its “textbooks, including its end-of-chapter questions, constitute original works and copyrightable subject matter pursuant to the Copyright Act.” The plaintiffs then allege that “Chegg does not produce its own textbooks with original end-of-chapter questions. Instead, Chegg usurps the creative expression of publishers like Pearson, damaging the value of their educational products.” Pearson argues that “by using and copying Pearson’s original creative content to make answer sets based on that content, Chegg infringes Pearson’s exclusive rights as a copyright holder.”

Now that a suit has been filed, all eyes are on Chegg to see how it responds to Pearson’s accusations. A Chegg representative issued a statement regarding the lawsuit saying, “Chegg will fight Pearson’s allegations vigorously and we believe we are in full compliance with copyright law.”

For more information about this suit including opinions from legal experts, check out this Forbes article. In the meantime, we will continue to follow this lawsuit and provide updates as they become available.