Walmart to shut down DRM servers

Walmart is becoming the latest music vendor to shut down its legacy digital rights management (DRM) system, prompting warnings of potential for lost purchases. The company is advising users to back up any songs which are currently running with the company's DRM software. When the company shuts down in licensing servers on October 9th, users will be unable to verify new machines or transfer songs to other systems.

Walmart has been selling DRM-free files for more than a year through its online service. The new files are being distributed as clean MP3 files, whereas the DRM-equipped songs and videos were encoded in the WMA format. "DRM-protected music has been a sensitive issue and we recognize how confusing it can be to customers," lead music buyer Tom Welch said in a blog posting.

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14 Comments

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Surprised that another jump-on-the-bandwagon DRM music service is going offline? No.
Surprised that people bought DRM music from Wal Mart? Yes.

And this is why I remove the DRM on all of my music that I purchase. I have one song on my system that I cannot play because it was purchased through MSN Music a few years back and is unable to verify ownership.

Nothing wrong with DRM. Its there to protect content from being stolen. Problem is there should be a standard. There really is no reason why songs purchased off itunes shouldnt be allowed to play off other players besides an ipod. Thats the only thing I have against DRM. If unprotected mp3 is becoming the standard would be great since pretty much every player will be able to use it. Hopefully all the online music stores start using it now.

Nothing wrong with the concept of DRM. It is when the implementation adversely affects the consumers fair use that it is bad.

And I have never run across an implementation of DRM that did NOT restrict users in such a way.

A grenade can be designed well, but if you hand it do common consumers with the pin pulled... Bad stuff happens to those consumers eventually.

The concept of DRM is all about limiting use (fair or otherwise).

It's up to Apple if they want to sell a product that won't work with another product. Just like you can't by HP ink cartridges from Epson. iTunes is the software for iPods, just like HP's drivers/photo software/other bundled junk only works with their printers.

It's so ironic that DRM was the only way to initially convince the music labels to sell their product online. Now that enough consumers are on board they are demanding that DRM be removed.

But, with DRM or not, people will still steal if they want to steal and pay if they want to pay. For those who choose to pay, DRM is a small inconvenience. For those who choose to steal, their means don't generally involve songs with DRM.

I have always been against DRM, as it puts the customer/consumer at risk of being denied access to their own purchased product.

Even when DRM is touted as delivering an "enhanced user experience". Bad.

(Majesticmerc said @ #1.1)
+1

How could DRM ever possibly provide an "Enhanced User Experience"

If a user sued Wal-Mart and gained some greens, that's Enhanced User Experience