May 17, 2022

PW Report: “Textbook Authors Sue Cengage Over Subscription Service”

UPDATE: October 4, 2018
From Cengage:

Cengage, an education and technology company, today announced that a resolution has been reached in Knox et al v. Cengage.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with our authors David Knox and Caroline Schacht.  Under the agreement, Mr. Knox and Ms. Schacht will purchase Choices in Relationships: An Introduction to Marriage and Family from Cengage.  And, Cengage retains the exclusive rights to other titles authored or co-authored by these authors, including M&F and Understanding Social Problems. These works continue to be available with a Cengage Unlimited subscription.

“Cengage Unlimited was created to lower students’ costs and increase access to our authors’ quality learning materials.  The subscription has been positively received by students, faculty and authors because of the value it offers: for one price, students have unlimited access to more than 20,000 eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides.

“We thank Mr. Knox and Ms. Schacht for their contributions to Cengage and wish them the very best in their future endeavors.

Case Documents

Full Text Court Filings Including Complaint and Answer (via RECAP/CourtListener)

From Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly:

Two authors have filed a federal lawsuit against educational publisher Cengage, alleging that the company’s new Cengage Unlimited subscription service will improperly cost them sales and royalty payments.

Filed this week in the Southern District of New York by authors David Knox and Caroline Schact, the suit claims that in introducing its subscription service, Cengage “is systematically dismantling and frustrating the business of selling Plaintiffs’ work” in favor of selling subscriptions to Cengage’s digital products. The authors, the suit states, “expect their royalties to decline substantially” as a result of Cengage Unlimited.

“The fundamental bargain struck between Plaintiffs and their publishers was for the payment of royalties upon the sale of their works,” the filing states.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.