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Walmart Caves On DRM Removal 215

Posted by kdawson
from the just-kidding dept.
cmunic8r99 writes in with an email he received from walmart.com yesterday evening about the pending shutdown of their DRM services (which we discussed a while back). Walmart has reconsidered and won't be shutting off its DRM servers after all. They are still moving to an all-MP3 store, but won't break all the DRMed music its customers have already downloaded; this because of "feedback from the customers."
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Walmart Caves On DRM Removal

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  • Wal-Mart (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:35AM (#25326429)

    Only did this so that people wouldn't sue them.

    • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:38AM (#25326463)

      this because of "feedback from the customers."

      Only did this so that people wouldn't sue them.

      You say tomato, I say fruit. Whatever.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        Whatever else you might want to say about Walmart, you at
        least have to give them credit for being good at pandering
        to their customers. That says as much about the Walmart
        shopper as it does Walmart, but that's another rant...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by PIBM (588930)

          Or this evil plan...

          Think about closing the servers .. Save X per months. Cost of the future lawsuits, evaluate to something maybe greater than X, maybe smaller. Add in the bad publicity about closing them and the lawsuit, total losses are greater than the inital X.

          Then wonder, what if we'd announce we'd close them, and shortly after get good free publicity about us catering to our users ? So we keep paying for X, but we get 5 * X in return just in the first month!

          Anyway =)

    • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Funny)

      by Shikaku (1129753) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:42AM (#25326509)

      Tagged: suddenoutbreakoflawsuits

    • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jlarocco (851450) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:14AM (#25326769) Homepage

      Only did this so that people wouldn't sue them.

      What's your point? Walmart was looking out for their bottom line? You don't really think Walmart is in business because they get warm fuzzy feelings selling cheap shit to cheap people, do you? A lawsuit would have been an expensive waste of time for everybody involved, and they almost certainly would have lost. It was clearly in Walmart's best interest to avoid it.

      That's the way it's supposed to work.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Schadrach (1042952)
        IOW, the way it is supposed to work is that they should, whenever the expected lawsuits are less expensive, shut down the DRM servers, and effectively render useless that which their customers have purchased?

        You know, I need to start manufacturing things with built-in self destruct switches and simply blow up my customers purchases when I need more sales. =)
        • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Funny)

          by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:57AM (#25327175) Homepage Journal
          "You know, I need to start manufacturing things with built-in self destruct switches and simply blow up my customers purchases when I need more sales. =)"

          If these are in the form of a 'vest'....I think you'll find a ready made market over there in the middle east. Heck....make it voice activated:

          LaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLaLa....BOOM!

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Alsee (515537)

          I need to start manufacturing things with built-in self destruct switches and simply blow up my customers purchases when I need more sales. =)

          Microsoft got the patent on that ages ago.

          -

      • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gsgriffin (1195771) on Friday October 10, 2008 @10:29AM (#25327525)
        Agreed. Those of us in America should live outside America for a while. I got back from living in South Africa for over a year. I wish they had more lawsuits! You heard me right. It because of lawsuit and the threat oif lawsuits that companies take us into consideration and have to build things safer. Ever bought a toaster outside of the US. You'll burn you hand the first time you use it. Not in America. The only toasters you find will be more carefully designed and labeled. Why because of the threat of lawsuits. We still get cheap products. The unsafe products are shipped from China to other parts of the world. Hate the laywer. Like the eventual product.
        • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:4, Funny)

          by somersault (912633) on Friday October 10, 2008 @11:45AM (#25328399) Homepage Journal

          Ever bought a toaster outside of the US. You'll burn you hand the first time you use it. Not in America. The only toasters you find will be more carefully designed and labeled

          Would this label say "do not insert hand into toaster while in operation?". Yeesh..

          There is a big difference between "outside of the US" and "South Africa". Please stop making such crazy generalisations. I don't think I've ever burned my hand on a toaster..

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by the_arrow (171557)

            I don't think I've ever burned my hand on a toaster..

            Might it have something to do with you knowing that it is hot, i.e. using your common sense? I will probably be modded flamebait, bit it seems to me that most people in the US of A simply have lost their common sense. While having non-hot toasters, do you also wait with getting the bread from it? Because, you know, it might be hot and you can feel a burning sensation? Well if you do, the obvious choice is of course to sue the maker of the toaster!

            • Ye gods, toasters are HOT? We must warn the world! Who knew? Quick, get me my label making kit.. you know - the one with the highly flammable glue?

        • by Elranzer (851411)
          Was the toaster running NetBSD? I can see how you'd get burned.
        • by Sockatume (732728)
          It depends where you go. Europe's nowhere near as litigious as the US (yet), but there's a lot of regulation and testing with regards to product safety, so I'd say that products are every bit as safe as those in the US. And give me a BS 1363 plug over those crazy things you stick in your walls any day of the week. ;)
      • On the plus side, it really highlights to others the long term consequences of selling DRM'd merchandise. DRM should only be used for subscription services. Also, now that WalMart has gone to selling unencumbered MP3s, I've finally started buying music on line.
    • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davmoo (63521) on Friday October 10, 2008 @10:21AM (#25327411)

      Horse shit. Walmart spends more on toilet paper for their in-store restrooms in a month than a lawsuit over this would have cost them. Plus I'd be willing to bet that there is fine print in the user agreement for all those DRMed tracks somewhere that says words to the effect of "we can turn it off any time with a few days notice and its your problem not ours".

      It probably really was customer feedback and the fact that this was making Walmart look bad. Bad press is far more damaging than some piddly ol' nickel and dime lawsuit.

      • Re:Wal-Mart (Score:5, Informative)

        by MightyYar (622222) on Friday October 10, 2008 @10:35AM (#25327583)

        Walmart spends more on toilet paper for their in-store restrooms in a month than a lawsuit over this would have cost them.

        No, because they would have likely lost the lawsuit and the judge would have done one of two things:
        1. Forced them to pay compensation to the people who bought the music.
        2. Forced them to escrow money to keep the servers running.

        Add in lawyer fees (plaintiff and defendant), and it is clear that they should just take #2 without the fight.

        Plus I'd be willing to bet that there is fine print in the user agreement for all those DRMed tracks somewhere that says words to the effect of "we can turn it off any time with a few days notice and its your problem not ours".

        I guarantee that is in there somewhere. But that doesn't make it enforceable.

        It probably really was customer feedback and the fact that this was making Walmart look bad.

        It was probably that, too. Not everything is black and white :) The added publicity from a lawsuit would have been detrimental as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nabsltd (1313397)

        Walmart spends more on toilet paper for their in-store restrooms in a month than a lawsuit over this would have cost them.

        If you sue for the same sorts of "losses" that the RIAA sues for, then that $100,000+ per track would add up pretty fast.

        Even with miserable total sales of 10,000 tracks, that'd be a billion dollar lawsuit.

  • Presumably... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:36AM (#25326445) Homepage

    ... they have a list of who bought which track. Wouldn't it be simpler to just send them non-DRMed copies of things they've already bought? At the very least, they could offer a discount for people re-buying tracks in a non-DRMed format.

    • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:43AM (#25326515)

      They do not have the rights to take such actions as you propose. Only Apple/iTunes was smart enough to get that written into their contract.

      • Re:Presumably... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by electrictroy (912290) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:31AM (#25326923)

        Do it anyway. It would be fun watching tiny RIAA try to sue billion-dollar Walmart.

        In my view all Walmart would be doing is simply trading "broken items" with new working items. Just like trading a broken radio for a working radio. That's called good customer service, and Walmart would gain far more money from their happy customers, then they'd lose against a mosquito like RIAA.

        • There's been plenty of people who've sued Walmart, and won, even over smaller issues than beelyuns of imaginary dollars.

          And Walmart's reactions AFTER the lawsuit are often completely disproportionate. Apparently, Walmart employees can get disciplined for working during their breaks now, because someone who had to work through their lunch break a bunch of times sued over it, and won. If you ask a Walmart employee for help and they say they're on break, and they can't, they really mean it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by electrictroy (912290)

            >>>Walmart employees can get disciplined for working during their breaks now...

            Most stores have had that restriction for years. I got disciplined for working my break at JCPenney, and that was back in 1992! Don't blame the store; it's the government's fault that things are that way. The stores are merely trying to protect themselves form government punishment.

            Back to topic:

            - If Walmart sold DRM songs, and Walmart turns-off the DRM servers, those songs would be non-functional.
            - Walmart has an *ob

            • Most stores have had that restriction for years. I got disciplined for working my break at JCPenney, and that was back in 1992! Don't blame the store; it's the government's fault that things are that way. The stores are merely trying to protect themselves form government punishment.

              Are you implying that this shouldn't be the case?

          • by pnutjam (523990)
            IMHO that's still a customer service problem, not a legal problem. That person could help you, if walmart was willing to pay them, they aren't.
            • by argent (18001)

              That person could help you, if walmart was willing to pay them, they aren't.

              Walmart can't pay employees to work through breaks except in emergencies. They're not allowed to.

              This has nothing to do with overtime, it's a health-and-safety issue.

      • by Eccles (932)

        Offering to make a CD backup of the collection of any user who complains might be doable, though.

      • by truesaer (135079)

        Apple doesn't really do that, you just get the privilege of paying a discounted price for the non-DRM version of the songs you already own.

        • Re:Presumably... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 10, 2008 @11:58AM (#25328579)

          Nope, check the EULA. They literally spell out your rights. If for any reason, their DRM system needs to be taken permanently offline, they will provide you with the tools to remove the DRM from your purchased media.

          That said, I would never knowingly purchase any DRM'd content. It just defies all intelligence.

    • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Informative)

      by yincrash (854885) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:45AM (#25326531)
      The problem with that is that Walmart probably has a contract with record labels that they made when they started the DRM service, and reoffering nonDRMed files would either require breaking the contract which risks a lawsuit, making a new contract with the record labels to allow them to reoffer DRM tracks for free (which would cost walmart tons because there is no way record labels would be interested in letting that happen w/o being paid a second time).

      the cheapest short term solution to keep their customers happy is just to leave the DRM servers up.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lord Kano (13027)

        Even if walmart has to pay the record companies out of its own pocket, what's the break even point? You pay for a bunch of MP3s once or you pay to maintain servers forever. At some people, the MP3 option becomes cheaper.

        LK

        • Re:Presumably... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by yincrash (854885) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:57AM (#25326621)
          I think walmart is gambling that before that point comes, people will have forgotten or given up on their DRMed music and they will be able to shut off their servers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by qubex (206736)

          I strongly suspect that within the temporal horizon Walmart considers, the cost of maintaining minimal authentication severs is absolutely minimal.

          They have the hardware already (obviously), idem for the maintenance contracts, their only variable cost is bandwidth. At the very least, this will stop rising as nobody will be authorising new music.

          I expect their authentication server's performance will gradually degrade as they cease spending money on maintenance and upgrades, but it will remain basically usab

  • Wal-Mart almost succeeding in robbing blind everyone who had purchased from their online store by making their MP3s unplayable, forcing them to pay for their music AGAIN. Now it took the effort of thousands of customers putting pressure on the stores, and they very nearly pulled it off. How long before other online music services decide to try something like this again, or simply go out of business and leave their customers in the cold?

    "I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"

    • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:45AM (#25326525) Homepage Journal
      All this means is that they will wait another year or maybe two before shutting down the DRM servers. They will in the end, there is no doubt.

      Do you seriously think the DRM servers will be running in 20 years? No way.

      • by Guido von Guido (548827) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:05AM (#25326703)

        All this means is that they will wait another year or maybe two before shutting down the DRM servers. They will in the end, there is no doubt.

        Do you seriously think the DRM servers will be running in 20 years? No way.

        While I'm in agreement, Walmart could certainly use that year or two in order to attempt to convince the labels to allow Walmart to remove the DRM from users' purchases. I think it'd be in their interest: they'd be able to shut down the DRM servers, they wouldn't take a big PR hit, and this episode would be much less likely to affect future music sales. Walmart is certainly willing to use their leverage to squeeze suppliers, and they probably have enough leverage with the labels to at least give it a try.

        Would they get anywhere? Hell if I know.

      • Or in 200 years, 2000 years, 2 million years? DRM like that is simply ridiculous.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sancho (17056) *

        The sooner they turn the servers off, the better. The public needs to learn that DRM means that they don't own copies of the media, despite what marketing would have them think.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cptdondo (59460)

        I think there is a lesson in this to the companies that sell DRM crap that depends on servers. It's a one-time purchase with a recurring cost to the seller. Ultimately, DRM is a losing proposition to the retailer - if you run the DRM servers long enough, you *will* lose money.

        It's basically a ponzi scheme - to cover the cost of running the DRM servers, you have to keep finding new sales to prop up the running expenses on the old sales. Eventually you run out of new sales and you lose money.

        The incrementa

  • They are still moving to an all-MP3 store, but won't break all the DRMed music its customers have already downloaded; this because of "threatened lawsuits."

    Fixed that for you.

  • Heh. That's "feedback" as in "loud screeching noise which can destroy the system if it gets out of control"?

    Now if only Sony and Nokia would realise that DRM is deeply despised and that marketing your stuff as "DRM-free" when it patently isn't [today.com] is not a solution to this ... ah, the joys of major label control addiction. As Penn Jilette says: "I would make executives more concerned with making money. I'm serious." [ign.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ozphx (1061292)

      As Penn Jilette says: "I would make executives more concerned with making money. I'm serious."

      Walmarts executives are very interested in making money. They want to sell music, and they aren't especially interested in running DRM servers. They will use whatever method they can to get as much popular music into the hands of paying customers as possible.

      $MusicLabel executives on the other hand are also interested in making money. They (until quite recently) seemed to think the best method of doing this was dem

      • See, I'd actually question that - in observable behaviour, they seem to consider absolute control a prerequisite to making money at all. So even though they may think they're thinking about money, control is what they actually work for.

        • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:52AM (#25327111)

          The discussion gets circular at some point, they are working for control because they think that will get them more money.

          A buzzphrase that may or may not still be vocalized by executives is 'data driven decisions'. In practice a good many decision are still made according to gut feelings, or very thin data, or totally invented data. In part this is because getting good data is hard to do and even harder to find clear meaning in.

          Here at Slashdot you have a demographic that should be more math oriented than most and yet you have people, this thread is a good example, writing about the financial and legal consequences of the Wal-Mart Corporation running or not running DRM servers. This is without a day's legal education in their lives and with no more financial experience than balancing their own checkbook. And with no clear actual numbers on which to base any of their conclusions.

          So just like the above Slashdotters, music execs went with their gut feelings. They expected digital formats to work like every other format in the entire history of their business model. I don't blame them. All of the non-DRM music stores coming online seems to suggest their minds are changing. If these stores make for the music industry I'm sure DRM for music will be mostly abandoned.

  • Sure, you could have held out hope that Wal-Mart would do the right thing.

    But did you really expect them to?

    Come on folks chime in. Did the fact that they caved really come across your desk as news that caught you off guard?

    If it did, I got this bridges and some wonderful swamp land in FLA I am selling cheap.

  • DMCA exemption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sunderland56 (621843) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:53AM (#25326589)
    Wouldn't "Disabling a DRM format that is obsolete" be a good candidate to add to the DMCA exemptions? [slashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jank1887 (815982)
      how about "providing a tool to enable disabling of DRM when it has become obsolete"? IIRC, under the DMCA it's still technically never legal to distribute any tools that will accomplish this task.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sockatume (732728)
      "Where necessary for a customer to continue exercising his or her rights on the media." If they take away the rights that you paid for - which is the whole damn product when you buy something with DRM - then it is entirely reasonable that you can circumvent the DMCA to regain those rights.
    • Re:DMCA exemption (Score:5, Informative)

      by vrmlguy (120854) <`samwyse' `at' `gmail.com'> on Friday October 10, 2008 @01:32PM (#25329837) Homepage Journal

      I just looked at the legalese from 2006, and came up with the following:

      Sound recordings, and audiovisual works associated with those sound recordings, distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require access to a central server as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or reproduction of published digital works by the original accessing entity. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine, system or service necessary to authorize the perceptible of a work stored in that format if a central server is no longer provided to authorize such perceptible./quote

  • by initialE (758110) on Friday October 10, 2008 @08:59AM (#25326633)

    For consumers, living in constant doubt of their content. For providers, servers that they will have to run, like, forever. And the admins who maintain them.

    • by hey! (33014)

      From the provider's standpoint, it's not so hard. Future expenses are always factored into every sale in one way or another, but as a net present value.

      The NPV of maintaining the servers forever is, in fact, finite, although the total expenditure over time has no upper bound.

      What should give anybody pause when buying a piece of DRM'd music is whether the true cost of maintaining the infrastructure behind the DRM indefinitely is factored into the cost.

  • by qoncept (599709)
    'this because of "feedback from the customers."'

    There was a Moes restaurant we used to go to that had a 25% military discount that they took away due to "popular demand." In Alabama, no less.
    • by Sloppy (14984)

      There was a Moes restaurant we used to go to that had a 25% military discount that they took away due to "popular demand." In Alabama, no less.

      It's pretty easy to imagine that a restaurant that openly has a policy of "33% surcharge if you're not in the military," would receive a lot of complaints. Most people aren't in the military, so the people in favor of the discrimination would be outnumbered by the people against it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by qoncept (599709)
        You're a genius. But do you think people in the military started paying $8 for a burrito after the change, or everyone else started paying $6? It didn't help anyone but the restaurant.

        Such is the human condition, I guess. People are more interested in dicking people over that are more fortunate than them than improving their own situation. Go to a bar with a shuffleboard table, and you'll see everyone is more interested in knocking the other guy's puck thing off than scoring points for himself.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:17AM (#25326791)
    look at all the comments condemning walmart, even though this is the right thing to do. fuck, they listen to their customers and you still think they are evil?

    someone are just plains stupid i guess.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LanMan04 (790429)

      They should have done the right thing the first time, without getting yelled at. They got caught doing something stupid, and had to take their hand back out of the cookie jar. It would have been better if we didn't have to beat them into doing the right thing.

  • by mevets (322601) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:21AM (#25326817)

    Apologies for marginally off topic, but couldn't I write an 'audio driver' for Xen, Bochs, .... which took the samples intended for the sound card and store them to a file; un-drming anything? Same for DVDs? Where does this stand with DMCA? I'm not reverse engineering anything....

    • If they allow burning to audio CD, you don't even have to do that. Just follow Apple's advice and "Mix, Burn, Rip" the DRM out of it. You'll end up with the same "bits" on disc.

      • by Sockatume (732728)
        Not quite. Burning the CD converts those bits into an analogue waveform, containing all the original compression artefacts from the first ripping operation. Re-ripping that disk will convert that analogue waveform back into bits, but necessarily with some data loss (it's lossy compression after all) so the new file has some additional compression artefacts on those original compression artefacts and isn't quite the same file you burned in the first place. It'll be subjectively nigh-identical though.
        • by argent (18001)

          Burning the CD converts those bits into an analogue waveform

          No, it doesn't. Compact discs are digital. The result of capturing the digital audio stream (using a tool like Audio Hijack) and ripping a burned CD should be equivalent. Neither operation is the same as somehow stripping the DRM from the original compressed stream without decompressing it, but that isn't what the OP was suggesting.

        • > Burning the CD converts those bits into an analogue waveform,

          I think this depends on how you do the rip and burn.
          If you rip by sending the audio through the D-to-A converter, then resample it back to digital through the A-to-D converter on your audio hardware before burning the CD, then yes you've made an unnecessary analog conversion.

          But most rip-and-burn software isn't going to do that, because that would be silly.

          • by Sockatume (732728)
            Okay, it's not literally a waveform, that's a semantic cludge by yours truly. To be more pedantic, you're taking a compressed audio file, unpacking that into a 40-something kilohertz 16-bit audio file, compression artefacts and all, and then the audio compression reads that audio file as though the recording artefacts were an original component of the record as it doesn't know any better. Therefore by necessity the resultant recompressed file is mathematically different than the original file. You can imagi
    • I believe QEMU (and probably Bochs) already has that option. For QEMU there is also a monitor command named "wavcapture" for this purpose. As for the DMCA, it mentions "circumvention", not reverse engineering, although the option to save audio to a file may have enough alternative uses to avoid being classified as a circumvention device.

      (Not a lawyer, etc., etc. Insert standard disclaimer here.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      You are correct, and I'm fairly certain that is why all the protected output path technologies are coming into play, in order to preventexactly that. To actually take the dump, you would nee to decrypt something, at which point you have entered the realm of circumvention technologies.

    • Isn't this capability already available?

      I know that on my Windows box, I can use Audacity (fr'instance) to record the "stereo mix" input while some other application is playing whatever I'm listening to, DRM'd or not.
      The ability to do this probably depends on whether the audio hardware allows this, though.
      Also, this does add an extra decompression-recompression step that degrades the quality a little. Not that I can tell any difference, though. The virtual audio driver option would do the same.

  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:28AM (#25326905) Homepage

    Hopefully they can pull their web developers' collective head out of their collective ass and make a web store that works on something other than internet explorer and windows.

    Seriously, is this 1995 or something?

    • Seriously, is this 1995 or something?

      It's Walmart. They think it's still 1895.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Phroggy (441)

      Hopefully they can pull their web developers' collective head out of their collective ass and make a web store that works on something other than internet explorer and windows.

      This is precisely why Apple created both the iPod and the iTunes Store in the first place, and why Apple isn't concerned with turning a profit on the iTunes Store (as long as they break even). They wanted a portable MP3 player that would work with Macs, and they wanted digital music sales to be available for Macs and the iPod.

      Unfortunately Apple doesn't think it's in their best interest to support Linux, although this is mostly due to technical hurdles (porting QuickTime to Windows was a huge pain in the a

  • Whoops! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by myxiplx (906307) on Friday October 10, 2008 @09:28AM (#25326907)

    Now *this* is good news.

    Why? Because you can bet that Wallmart execs are not at all happy about having to pay for and run a bunch of servers that are no longer making them any money. You can bet that just opened their eyes to the downsides of DRM, and that some people at the top are now asking the music labels some tricky questions, namely "how long are we supposed to keep paying to run these damn things now?".

    Wallmart will not want to be left in this position again, and I can see this causing them to put some real pressure on the music labels to drop DRM.

    It also means that Wallmart, Apple and Amazon are all pushing for non DRM music. All together that's some pretty hefty leverage!

  • I wanted these servers to shut down. I wanted all these people who bought DRM'd music to be left out in the cold. I wanted there to be outrage at how they got screwed by WalMart and DRM.

    Only when the end users feel the pain of DRM will there be real resistance to this crap.

  • or Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, and EMI freaked out and begged Walmart not to kill their dream of an all DRM digital world?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sockatume (732728)
      If the DRM servers stay on, the customers continue to use the files they paid for. If the DRM servers switch off, those files will become useless at some point in the future and must be repurchased, making money for aforementioned studios. If everyone's switching to DRM-free music, you can bet the studios want them to switch their DRM servers off too.
      • by Dan667 (564390)
        But the RIAA members (Sony, Universal, Warner Brothers, and EMI) have been trying for years to get everyone to use DRM formated music. If Walmart pulls the plug, even though some people might re-purchase music, they would have learned a hard lesson on DRM and be less likely to buy it in the future, thus crushing the RIAA dream.
        • by Sockatume (732728)
          Walmart's switching to plain MP3 either way. The studios have absolutely nothing to gain by forcing Walmart to continue running its DRM servers after they do so.
  • Turn off the DRM server but also offer free non-DRM'd replacements for download from their website for all DRM'd files a user has purchased.

  • What's shocking is that people actually used Wal-Mart's crappy, censored, DRM filled, and buggy service in the first place. Who are these people? Where do they live? And can we somehow take away their right vote?

    • "And can we somehow take away their right vote?"

      No. I'll bet that primarily they vote (D) and not (R). You must be an (R) to try to restrict voting like that.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

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