Search for Cases
Case Code: CLBE008
Case Length: 4 pages 
Period: -  
Pub Date: 2008
Teaching Note: Not Available
Subject : Business Ethics
Organization :--
Industry : Publishing, Electronics
Countries : --

Amazon Kindle: DRM Issues*



This short case study discusses Amazon's remote deletion of two eBooks from its customers' Kindle eBook readers, without their permission, or even their knowledge. The move was widely criticized and raised questions about Amazon's DRM policies. The case also describes some other instances where Amazon had followed similar courses of action, and also examines the question whether these actions could have an adverse effect on the sales of the eBook reader.
Buy Now
To download this case click on the button below, and select the case from the list of available cases:
Short Case Studies
Express Checkout


  • Digital Rights Management.
  • DRM for eBooks.
On July 17, 2009, online retailer Amazon Inc. (Amazon) remotely erased two eBooks from the Kindle eBook readers of its customers. Later, it emailed these customers that it had deleted Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four - two books by George Orwell - from their devices. The email also said that the Kindle accounts of the customers had been credited with the price of each of the eBooks, i.e., US$ 0.99.

Amazon stated that it had removed the eBooks because they were unauthorized editions and the ‘publisher’ of the eBooks did not have the rights to sell them...
Questions for Discussion:
1. Evaluate Amazon's response to the entire controversy. Considering its own interests, as well as the interests of other stakeholders, what were the alternative responses that it could have considered?

2. In your opinion, will Amazon action have a significant impact on Kindle's sales? Why, or why not?


Digital Rights Management (DRM), Amazon, Kindle, Big Brother, eBooks, eBook readers

* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.