News You Could Do Without

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
drm, servers

microsoft, wal-mart, yahoo

Surprise, Surprise: WalMart Changes Its Mind, Keeps DRM Servers Running (For Now)

from the and-again dept

A couple weeks back, we noted with surprise Wal-Mart's decision to turn off its DRM servers with little warning. After all, both Yahoo and Microsoft had tried to do the same thing, but eventually backed down in front of rather public backlash from customers. It's hard to believe that no one in charge of Wal-Mart's music offering was aware of that. But, still, the company tried to shut down the DRM servers. And, surprise, surprise, there was widespread backlash. So, not surprisingly, Wal-Mart has backed down and promised to keep the DRM servers running for the time being.

Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    Rekrul, 10 Oct 2008 @ 1:21am

    It's too bad that neither the users nor the companies will learn from this...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2008 @ 1:40am

    DRM Hell

    Sounds like DRM is like "Hell - easy to enter and almost impossible to exit" Who said that?

    Keep those servers a-hummin! Ten people depend on their music!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Twinrova, 10 Oct 2008 @ 3:50am


    If Walmart's decision to shut these servers down is based on cost, why not let the DRM consumer convert their MP3s?

    This way, everyone wins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 11 Oct 2008 @ 5:50am

      Re: Eh?

      That's a calm, rational and practical idea that makes everyone happy. It'll never fly with the music industry ;)

      Seriously though, there's probably some portion of the original licence that specified using DRM and would be broken if they offered MP3s.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 10 Oct 2008 @ 5:07am

    Analog hole

    What is funnier is that all these companies have told the users just to convert their DRM music to analog cds and then reconvert them. I somehow don't think that the music industry really wanted people to know that was possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike, 10 Oct 2008 @ 6:38am

    What's an analog cd?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 10 Oct 2008 @ 7:51am

    Possible business idea?

    You approach companies like Microsoft, Wal-Mart and Yahoo and offer to take over their DRM servers for a one-time fee - they provide you the equipment, DNS info and whatever else you need to route the DRM checks to your business location.

    Then the companies can send letters to their customers telling them that the DRM is being transferred to a 3rd party company, please continue enjoying your music, yada yada yada and then 3 years from now, we shut down the servers and sell the equipment on ebay.

    The customers can get mad, but at who? A random 3rd party company that existed just to absorb the blame when the time came?

    Sounds like a win-win for everyone but the consumer, and when did we, as business owners, care about the consumer? We *already have* their money...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 10 Oct 2008 @ 2:44pm

    If I Buy Something, Do I Own It?

    If I bought a DRM-d song from Wal-Mart, then it's my property, right? So if Wal-Mart shuts down its DRM servers, then it's interfering with my property. So it should be criminally prosecuted for burglary and trespass, and probably theft as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Steve R. (profile), 11 Oct 2008 @ 1:17pm

    Wired Article


    "But protected music cannot be burned onto data CDs, only onto uncompressed audio CDs. If you bought 200 protected songs from Wal-Mart, you'd have to burn 13 CDs and re-encode all of them back onto your computer -- fairly time consuming. And making matters worse, all of that music would end up having been processed by a second audio compression algorithm (most likely MP3) in addition to the original WMA compression. Not only did Wal-Mart's advice on how to deal with its proposed DRM plan involve a hassle and extra expense on the part of the consumer, but that extra round of compression could also hurt the songs' audio quality."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Enrico Suarve, 13 Oct 2008 @ 12:34am


    So can I continue to buy all my favourite DRM enabled tracks in the interim?

    If not I want a price reduction - if DRM was so ace (which they told us for years) then the same song without it has to be worth less

    Don't get rid of your DRM servers Walmart - where will I buy all my DRM from in future? I'll be reduced to trying to find it on street corners and everyone knows that's not the good stuff. You told me for over a decade that it was great, essential for decent music and now you want to take it away? Oh the humantity, take me with you?

    I love the internet - wax crayon no longer gives me away, yippee

    Nurse? That better be DRM in that there syringe, Sony DRM you say? Put that sweet stuff straight in my arm....AHHHhhhhhhhh! ;0)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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