Wal Mart Shutting Down Music Store DRM Server

September 29th, 2008 at 12:00 am

walmart music stor digital rights management media online backup shut down

WalMart should be hailed by the DRM-free advocates for their announce ment to today.  Starting October 9th, WalMart will no longer be recognizing any DRM media bought from their online music store.  This means that they will no longer be liable to assist its customers regarding DRM issues past that date.

In an email to its customers, WalMart made the announcement to no longer support any of the DRM media bought from their site.  They go on to detail that users should back up the DRM’ed files on optical disks so they can access it in other computers. 

Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

We hope you are enjoying the increased music quality/bitrate and the improved usability of Walmart’s MP3 music downloads. We began offering MP3s in August 2007 and have offered only DRM (digital rights management) -free MP3s since February 2008. As the final stage of our transition to a full DRM-free MP3 download store, Walmart will be shutting down our digital rights management system that supports protected songs and albums purchased from our site.

If you have purchased protected WMA music files from our site prior to Feb 2008, we strongly recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer. This change does not impact songs or albums purchased after Feb 2008, as those are DRM-free.

Beginning October 9, we will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from Walmart.com. If you do not back up your files before this date, you will no longer be able to transfer your songs to other computers or access your songs after changing or reinstalling your operating system or in the event of a system crash. Your music and video collections will still play on the originally authorized computer.

Thank you for using Walmart.com for music downloads. We are working hard to make our store better than ever and easier to use.

Walmart Music Team 

It’s actually unfair for WalMart to do this.  For one thing, when they started supporting DRM’ed media, they should have known that their customers would be needing support with that for as long as they had the music.  To simply shut down their DRM servers without unlocking the products they sold is a rip off since one of the essences of DRM is the remaining support a customer gets from the vendor.

Anyway, it’s not unusual for WalMart to be unfair but it’s still a good thing that they’re no longer selling DRM’ed media.