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Piracy is the unauthorized use or reproduction of another’s work.

What is a counterfeit?

A counterfeit is an imitation, usually, one that is made with the intent of fraudulently passing it off as genuine. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the established worth of the imitated product.

How to avoid buying counterfeit textbooks?

It is important to know some of the warning signs and ways to avoid purchasing counterfeit textbooks.


  • Look and feel (new or used book)
  • Hologram pasted on the front cover
  • Overlapped pattern on words or images on the cover
  • Spelling error on the front or back cover
  • Defective spine (wrinkles) or air pocket in the bottom of the spine
  • Printing of ISBN/bar codes (clearly readable or not)
  • The ISBN on the rear cover of the book does not match the ISBN on the inside copyright page of the book
  • Lamination film applied on the cover or not (a thin layer of transparent film pasted on top of cover)
  • Blurred images on the cover


  • Printing registration (overlapped pattern) or misalignment of matter
  • Uneven inking within the pages
  • Images: Halftones, screens are clearly printed or not?
  • Poor quality or blurred photographs/images/charts.
  • Different paper quality/shade used in different forms/pages
  • The thickness of paper (bulk of paper), all the pages are of the same thickness
  • Paper quality, opacity, degree of show through
  • Alignment of pages (even right and inner margins in the pages)
  • Sewn binding (generally our books are sewn and one can see the thread when the book is open)
  • Inferior binding and pages falling out
  • Missing pages
  • Different//Inconsistent Pagination, especially in front or rear materials


  • Missing access codes for supplemental online or e-learning materials
  • On an online platform, if all sellers are selling the book at a higher price and one or two sellers are selling at a drastically lower price, this can be an indication of a pirated copy being sold.
  • When buying online from a platform, read the reviews/feedback. Feedback many times provides useful insight towards what is really being offered for sale.

What actions should you take?

If you receive and identify a counterfeit textbook from a third-party supplier, do not return the textbook back to the supplier. Turn over that counterfeit and send the name of the supplier, along with any paperwork you have on the purchase to us by emailing Please provide us with as much information as possible, including but not limited to the Title, ISBN, Invoice copy, any correspondence with the seller or the online platform and location where material can be purchased. Reported counterfeits will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

 Can You Spot the Counterfeit?

 Which book is a counterfeit, image A or B?

how to spot a counterfeit bookhow to spot a counterfeit book

The book displayed in image B is the counterfeit.

Counterfeit book

Examining the glue used to bond the book together can be a useful method for determining a book’s authenticity. Often, counterfeit books will use a different color glue than that used for a legitimate book. Additionally, the glue applied to counterfeit books tends to be applied more thickly and generally does not appear to be as tidy as that applied to a legitimate book. Notice in the side-by-side comparison the color and tidiness of the glue used on the counterfeit book (right).

In the side-by-side comparison, the color and tidiness of the glue helps to identify the counterfeit book (right).

   how to spot a counterfeit