New York State and Federal Laws Passed to Regulate Sales of College Textbooks

October 7, 2008

Over the summer, both New York State and the federal government enacted legislation designed to help make college textbooks more affordable to students by regulating the marketing of those textbooks and improving students’ access to information about textbook pricing. Both laws impose requirements on universities, as well as textbook publishers. Further, faculty members should be aware that the state law prohibits them from reselling sample copies of course materials or other instructional material they receive from publishers. The State law goes into effect on July 1, 2009, while the federal law goes into effect on July 1, 2010. The attached memorandum explains the laws’ requirements so that CUNY’s constituent campuses can come into compliance with the new laws prior to their effective dates.

Frederick P. Schaffer
General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs