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Wal-Mart Ends DRM Support 231

An anonymous reader writes "So, you thought you did well to support the fledgling music industry by purchasing your tracks legally from the Wal-Mart store? Well, forget about moving these tracks to a new PC! Since they started selling DRM-free tracks last year, there's no money to be made in maintaining the DRM support systems, and in fact, support is being shut down. Make sure you circumvent the restrictions by burning the tracks to an old-fashioned CD before Wal-mart 'will no longer be able to assist with digital rights management issues for protected WMA files purchased from' Support ends October 9th."
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Wal-Mart Ends DRM Support

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  • refund (Score:5, Interesting)

    by poopdeville ( 841677 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:19PM (#25177869)

    I don't know Wallyworld's terms of service, but are the customers within their rights to demand refunds?

    • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:25PM (#25177915) Homepage
      They can demand all they want. Doesn't mean they will get it. Also this is yet another reason why DRM is evil. There is no money in continuing to maintain the DRM servers once you stop selling music. Once whoever you buy from decides to stop support, you are out of luck. This is the third service that I have heard of shutting down. I'm sure more will come in the future. I'm not sure how long it will take for people to realize just how bad DRM is.
      • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

        by poopdeville ( 841677 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:58PM (#25178111)

        They can demand all they want. Doesn't mean they will get it.

        You ignored my question in favor of going on a rant.

        Obviously, they have the right to say what they want. I was asking if their demands are supported by law. Perhaps under an implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for purpose. Also, the TOS could have terms relating directly to the shutdown of the service.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          He did answer it really. You can ask all you want but you can be damm sure that the walmart lawyers have already thought of this.

          In a license or eula SOMEWHERE is a clause that lets wallyworld get away with this without giving refunds.

          Really. one of the worlds biggest corporations vs. a bunch of suckers who downloaded DRM music. Who do you really think is going to get the short end of the stick? I mean really...

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I don't know if its a coincidence or not, but I had some well connected friends at Yahoo relay my message of an impending class action lawsuit in light of them shutting down their drm servers. Shortly there after they announced that you could get the same tracks from other services with out drm for free. Sadly, I never bought anything from walmart nor do I know anyone there. But if you have been burned I suggest you look into it. It won't end up helping you recoup many losses, but I think a successful class
          • Most likely Walmart music is only warrantied to work for 90 days, after which time Walmart is no longer required to "fix" it when it stops working...... similar to how Walmart is not required to replace my old 1990s-era cassettes if they happen to tear in half.

            I have not bought any DRM'd music yet, but if I had, I would keep those legally-purchased copies & download "backup" copies off bittorrent. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that we are allowed to have backup copies as long as we have the original

            • I think the real problem with walmart, is it didn't have enough customers to qualify any pending lawsuit as a class action;), But yeah, I would do the same thing. The use of DRM will increase the apparent piracy of media as people turn to non legit sources for back ups of their legit purchases that no longer work due to drm.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by shoemilk ( 1008173 )
              Wasn't there also a ruling that said downloads off of P2P don't count as backups? Or was that something the RIAA was trying to push?
    • If you can't get money back on those tracks, there are a lot of ways to abuse their returns policy. My friend bought some games from Gamestop when they were running a really good, 2 for $40 sale on nearly new games and returned one of them to Wal Mart for a $40 gift card. Even if you don't like the store, you can at least get your cold cereal with a gift card.
      • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:47PM (#25178057)

        So the moral of the story is that if you are willing to commit fraud you can get free cereal.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ijakings ( 982830 )

          Its not really free cereal, More like half price cereal.

        • To play devil's advocate: committing fraud may be a moral action in this case, assuming that Walmart is itself immoral.
        • Re:refund (Score:5, Interesting)

          by electrictroy ( 912290 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @02:55PM (#25178759)

          Sometimes in order to catch a thief, you have to use the tactics of a thief (deception, buying black market goods, and using weapons). Example: Dish Network sold me a digital tuner box which was so poorly-programmed, it barely worked. A few months later Dish released v1.06 with all the bugs removed, and since my warranty was still good, I asked to exchange boxes.

          Dish refused saying they had no record of me as a customer. They lost the sale! Idiots. So since Dish effectively defrauded me, I decided to borrow a page from the same book. (1) I bought a brand-new revision v.106 box. (2) When the package arrived, I swapped the tuners and returned my defective v1.00 box. (3) I contacted my credit card company, explained the situation, and provided proof the item was returned to Dish. (4) The credit company reversed the charge. (5) It costs me about 5 dollars in postage, but at least now I have a working digital tuner.

          Dish tried to scam me via selling a defective box, and failed. And now Walmart's trying to do the same thing; if necessary I would find a way to recover the money. Perhaps the credit card company could reverse the charge for this now-broken DRM and worthless Walmart music. If not there are other ways your credit card could help you recover the money you lost.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward

            In other words, why go to court when you can take the law into your own hands.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Wal-mart for all its problems is pretty liberal with its return policy. My guess is that if you could talk to someone who even knew they sold music online they would either a) give you a refund or b) give you the tracks again DRM-free.

      • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ritchie70 ( 860516 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:26PM (#25178265) Journal

        Have to agree with this.

        Walmart has very customer friendly return policies in their bricks-and-mortar stores.

        The stores are pits, and the actual customer service sucks (I've stood at the pickup desk for a half hour just waiting for someone to show up and get my web order) but when you need to return something, they're very, very good about it.

        Got some ugly crap for Christmas from your mother who, somehow, doesn't understand the concept of "gift receipts" and just says "if you don't like it, I got it at...." instead like it's still 1982?

        If they can scan that particular piece of ugly crap and identify it as something they might have sold her, they'll give you back the current sale price on a gift card, so you can go buy juice and cereal. No hassles.

        Target, on the other hand, are a bunch of bastards with crazy rules like "we'll take it, but you have to find something else to buy from the same department."

        • Walmart has very customer friendly return policies in their bricks-and-mortar stores.

          BS. I bought a package of baby diapers in our local store before going to a conference in another city. I managed to buy the wrong size, so we went to exchange them at a Wal-Mart in that town. I was civil and polite from the very beginning. The difference in price was $0.07, but they absolutely positively would not exchange them without my driver's license. This resulted in one of the very rare occasions where escalation to a few well-chosen f-bombs to the manager got them to cooperate. Now, keep in m

          • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

            by swb ( 14022 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @04:01PM (#25179229)

            Baby stuff is very frequently shoplifted; low-income people have kids (lots!) that soil themselves as often as rich people's kids do, and they don't like cloth nappies any more than you do. So even though it doesn't make "sense", they had no idea what the providence of your diapers were; you could have bought them stolen for 20 cents on the dollar.

            How hard was it to show them a driver's license, anyway?

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

              So even though it doesn't make "sense", they had no idea what the providence of your diapers were; you could have bought them stolen for 20 cents on the dollar.

              But, again, I was making an exchange and not getting a refund. I was trading them something worth $X for something worth $(X-0.07). Even if I'd stolen the original package, they would be no worse off after the swap. It was a lot of inconvenience for no net difference.

              How hard was it to show them a driver's license, anyway?

              To show them? Not hard at all. To allow them to record the information like they wanted to do? That was more than I could accept.

        • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

          I've experienced the exact opposite before, just like the other person who posted a reply to you.

          I think it has more to do with the type of neighborhood a particular store is located in.

          WalMart stores around here tend to mostly be in neighborhoods bordering on higher-crime areas. People are constantly trying to return things to them that weren't bought there to begin with, or maybe were shoplifted from them earlier in the day.

          When you have a legitimate return, you're made to feel like a criminal yourself,

          • That could be the case. The Walmart where I've returned things is in an expensive neighborhood (Darien, Illinois, a Chicago suburb) with no high-crime areas anywhere nearby.

        • >>>they'll give you back the current sale price on a gift card

          The problem with that is on December 25, stores immediately mark everything down. One time my young niece gave me a shirt that she said cost her "20 dollars". The tag actually said 29.99 so she got a 33% off discount. ----- I returned the shirt on December 26, showed the clerk the tag and said my grandma had a 33% off discount, so please refund $19.99. However because I didn't have a receipt, all they gave me was the current cleara

          • Re:refund (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Ritchie70 ( 860516 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @03:25PM (#25178959) Journal

            You can't really expect them to give you anything except what they're selling for without a receipt, can you? You could have bought it five minutes ago. If you'd had the receipt (or a gift receipt) and they'd given you $5 then I'd be mad.

            Wish my mom would understand that.... we got $2 or something for a set of Christmas dishes that I'm sure she paid $20 for.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by T-Bone-T ( 1048702 )

            You used something for 6 months and then expected a refund?! Then you threatened them with a chargeback that you might have not even qualified for? No wonder they weren't nice to you. Who do you think you are?

    • Re:refund (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Techguy666 ( 759128 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:10PM (#25178177)

      I don't know Wallyworld's terms of service, but are the customers within their rights to demand refunds?

      I suspect it depends on whether they use the term "purchase" anywhere on the eula or site...

      • If they use the word "licence", and then withdraw your licence, then I think you can demand a refund.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rm999 ( 775449 )

      I would be amazed if they refuse to give refunds. Think about it - Walmart has deep pockets, they are still selling music (and still seeking to make a profit off it), and they don't have a monopoly on music.

      Pissing off past customers isn't exactly good business practice, and (I hate to admit it) Walmart is actually run by very skilled businessmen.

  • In Massachusetts? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alex Pennace ( 27488 ) <> on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:23PM (#25177885) Homepage

    I wonder if this would count as an unfair and deceptive practice as described in Massachusetts G.L. 93A.

    • Not sure about that, but this is certainly one way to steal music.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Unless WalMart freely offers non-DRM replacements or a full refund, it should be treated as a massive number of petty thefts.

      It's really no different than selling someone a single, then stealing it back from them.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dummondwhu ( 225225 )
        It's more like them installing a new windshield in your car and then throwing a rock through it as you drive off the premises.
  • A change. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:24PM (#25177899)

    An interesting change in the wind. Suddenly, DRM is not just bad for consumers but good for re-sellers, where the cost of pissing off your clientele has to be weighed vs the cost of producing DRM-laden product, but aside from being utterly useless it actually harms the company directly by costing it money.

    This is something that companies will listen to- and quickly. I suspect that this begins the downward spiral of heavy-handed DRM.

    At least, I hope so...

  • HAHAHA tag? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:24PM (#25177901) Journal

    A lot of people said it, long ago. DRM won't work for this very reason (and many others) and now those who were legal, and honest, and bought DRM'd content have to suffer AGAIN. It's not just Wal-Mart, how many other content providers also shut down, or screwed their customers by dropping or changing the DRM.

    Me? I'm still sitting back, waiting for the industry to calm down and pull their heads out. Punishing the customer won't stop the criminals, never will. Now that the US Dollar is about to be worth ... next to nothing, they will have to kiss customer's asses to get them to spend money. We'll see how this all plays out. Even the DOJ doesn't like the **AA's game plan. It's falling apart on them. Wal-Mart is NOT a small retailer. This is a large nail in the coffin that DRM will be put to rest in.

    • Re:HAHAHA tag? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EastCoastSurfer ( 310758 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:46PM (#25178049)

      People are STILL buying DRM tracks?? At this point I don't blame the retailers, but the consumer. Amazon has been selling DRM free tracks for a long time now, and they're usually cheaper to boot!

      • I suspect the sale of DRMed music still exceeds the sale of non-DRMed music, thanks to Apple. I don't have any figures to back that up, but they have a huge market share.
        • As far as Apple's concerned they still want to do iTunes Plus for everything. I'm still a little baffled that most of the music labels still aren't giving up on this. At this point it is still solely about the labels wanting to do what they can to prop up other music stores like Amazon's MP3 store, which has certainly established itself. You'd think at this point they'd go ahead and say that they've made their point and succeeded in helping to make another music store successful, and go ahead and let Appl
          • >>>Amazon's MP3 store would still have an advantage over iTunes.

            Yeah except for the fact that MP3 is inferior to AAC. I prefer to buy my stuff in the newer AAC format (or AAC+ SBR if it's available). Similarly I prefer my downloadable videos to use some variant of the newer MPEG4-format rather than MPEG2.

          • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *
            The labels don't want any one distributor to become too big, lest they start making "unreasonable" demands. As long as they can threaten the stores with taking their business elsewhere, they maintain some amount of leverage. Thus, it makes sense to play distributors against each other as much as possible. One way to do that is to ensure that neither carries the full catalog in comparable formats.
        • Re:iTunes (Score:4, Insightful)

          by samkass ( 174571 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @02:08PM (#25178479) Homepage Journal

          I suspect the sale of DRMed music still exceeds the sale of non-DRMed music, thanks to the music label's insistence on Apple DRM'ing their music.

          There, fixed that for ya. It's all up to the music labels. The only reason Amazon can sell DRM-free music is because the labels let them. And they don't let Apple, because they want Amazon to emerge as a competitor. Once distribution becomes a commodity again, the labels (who have a monopoly over the content) can jack prices back up. Right now it's Apple vs. the labels keeping prices in check. When the labels induce Amazon's success, it will be the consumers against the labels directly... and we know who will win then.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        Amazon's store, last time I checked, was US-only. iTunes covers a large percentage of the connected world, and there are still a lot of things that are on iTunes but not iTunes Plus.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BronsCon ( 927697 )

      Punishing the customer won't stop the criminals, never will.

      That should read "Punishing the customer will increase the criminals' numbers, always will."

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      What might happen is the RIAA becomes the key holder. They are invested into keeping the servers alive to keep people buying the 'music' and might just step up to keep in control.

      Sort of like how Microsoft holds the 'keys' even tho you buy their products from a reseller.

      I want it to go away as much as anyone, but i am not naive enough to think this is the end. This is just a minor skirmish in a much longer war.

  • by Doug52392 ( 1094585 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:24PM (#25177903)

    My sister (who is obsessed with music) bought hundreds of dollars worth of music from Wal-Mart's music downloading service. Recently, her MP3 player started acting strange and refused to play any DRM songs, so I had to reformat the whole MP3 player and resync all of her music to it. (There was also serious filesystem corruption)

    If Wal-Mart had ended their DRM support yesterday...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by astrosmash ( 3561 )
      Most of the music people acquire falls out of fashion after a few short years. Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to backup your favorite music, regardless of the format in which it was purchased. Luckily, these days it has never been easier to do just that; there's really no excuse not to.
      • Most of the music people acquire falls out of fashion after a few short years.

        Is this really true? I have no idea, so I'd be interested in seeing some percentages, but I have bought very little music that I don't still listen to regularly. Do most people really spend money on music that they are only going to listen to a few times? If so, it would explain why so many turn to piracy - an album doesn't seem too expensive when you think that you'll listen to it a few hundred times over the years, but if you're only going to listen to it a few dozen then it's pretty extortionate.

        • It is true. The problem is, you won't know which of the tracks you bought now you will still listen to 5 years down the line.

          Think that's true of only stuff from the last decade? What about all those other acts from the 60s that didn't make it big (eg: the vast majority of them). Surely someone must have bought their albums...

      • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @02:31PM (#25178609)

        Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to backup your favorite music, regardless of the format in which it was purchased.

        No it's not.

        Not in this case.

        For you see, when he went to re-load the backed up music it would re-contact the Walmart DRM server looking for authorization... A server which no longer exists.

        • It's not rocket science. It's only audio, and it's very easy to work with.

          There are plenty of ways to backup that don't involve DRM, but it really won't matter until there is a mass of people who want to remove the DRM from their purchased music. Of course, if there was a mass of people using Wal-Mart's music service they wouldn't have shut it down in the first place.

      • > Most of the music people acquire falls out of fashion after a few short years.

        This is very sad. It is just a proof of how much today's mainstream music is worth. Bands like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin - they were releasing their first albums in late 60s or early 70s, and they rocked, and they kept on rocking until they (for various reasons) couldn't do music anymore. 1973's Dark Side Of The Moon was arguably the best album in the whole history of music, and 1994's Division Bell was still a g

  • Incidents like this, as well as the general pain in the backside factor, mean that customers loathe and despise DRM.

    But the marketers know their major label affiliated clients insist on DRM.

    So what do they do? Lie. Sony and Nokia [], MySpace [] - all advertised as "DRM-free" and never mind the little detail of being nothing of the sort!

    Don't you have truth in advertising laws there or something?

    • I don't think the MySpace thing is a lie - if you actually buy your music, it is done through the Amazon MP3 store, which is certainly DRM-free. The thing with MySpace Music is that you can also stream any music for free (with ads/etc.) but you can't download it, but you're also not paying for it, so it's not really a big deal. The buying part is Amazon MP3.
  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:48PM (#25178067) Homepage

    DRM cannot be trusted. DRM retailers cannot be trusted to keep up the support. This is why people should never buy DRM.

  • Unexpected (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Minervine ( 1068270 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:49PM (#25178071)
    Having purchased a DRM track from Wal-Mart a long time ago to try out the service, I received an e-mail recently from them about the service shutdown. Interestingly enough, they provided this advice to users:

    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.

    I didn't expect them to okay users to resort to the analog-hole, something that many companies and legislators have been trying to stop for years. Will other DRM services be this forgiving when they shut down their servers?

    • Re:Unexpected (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:01PM (#25178145)

      The WMA DRM protection system can explicitly allow or disallow users to burn CD audio from the encrypted files. It's not necessarily using the analog output, which would obviously have to be redigitized, resulting in further quality loss.

      Also, they can't really stop the "analog hole" until they implant DRM-laden microchips in our ears, and forcibly encode all the world's audio sources. Or ban all consumer microphones and recording devices.

    • How is re-encoding your .wmvs to .wav and then laying down that info on a CD in ANY WAY using the 'analog-hole'?
    • DRM Escrow (Score:5, Interesting)

      by peterofoz ( 1038508 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:09PM (#25178173) Homepage Journal
      Companies that sell or license products with the built in DRM time bomb should have to put the keys to that product into a software escrow. The escrow acts as a kind of insurance against the company going out of business or to discontinue the service. This approach has been used by large companies for years to ensure the source code for the expensive new core system they bought from a start up would be around if the start up should fail. This will probably take some kind of government regulation to make it happen because individual consumers are too small to push this through. Anyone want to start such a service? It would probably just involve parking some servers in a data center with 2 or 3 spares in the box and maintaining them for 20 years. We can call it The National Museum of DRM Failure.
      • Or, we could just refuse to support DRM in *any* way, and watch it die a lingering, painful death.

        Your suggestion is perfectly reasonably from a technical standpoint, but it grants DRM legitimacy in the consumer mind. I don't mean to be insensitive to individual's plights, but... painful lessons tend to be the best-learned lessons. If people realize that DRM'ed music is essentially held hostage by the sellers, and is therefore riskier to buy, than ultimately that's a good thing for moving things in a bett

      • by mxs ( 42717 )

        You are assuming that the coke-high RIAA executives will do something in the interest of the consumer. They will not. This will not happen.

    • I didn't expect them to okay users to resort to the analog-hole, something that many companies and legislators have been trying to stop for years. Will other DRM services be this forgiving when they shut down their servers?

      Forgiving? Let me get this straight - they sell you a product that relies on their server up to 6 months ago, and then decide they don't feel like supporting said service, they make you go in circles making sure it always works. Burning to a CD? That's why people went to iPods and away

    • Write them back and ask them for a spindle of CDs.
    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      If a tape player broke, one would have to buy another one or not use a tape. All those vinyl records, one either had to keep a record player or just scrap them. It only recently has become easy to transfer analog recording. The CDs are easy to transfer so no one noticed when we moved to mp3 players. Any, or course if the media got damaged, you were SOL

      The thing is that formats change all the time. This is nothing interesting. Songs were bought in one format, and now they are in another. It is even

  • by ktappe ( 747125 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:58PM (#25178109)
    I don't understand why they don't do the obvious--replace all customers' DRM'ed songs with the equivalent non-DRM'ed copy. Customers have their same tracks, WallyWorld doesn't have to maintain their DRM servers.

    Oh, wait....the RIAA won't get to double-dip customers if that happens. Now I see.

  • And EA wonders... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sniper511 ( 1350103 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:58PM (#25178113)
    ...why we have a problem with their newest DRM model.

    (Yes, I'm aware they claim they'll release a patch before they turn off the servers, but if they go bankrupt tomorrow and can't PAY anyone to develop said patch, then what?)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Nobody Real ( 266597 )
      if they go bankrupt tomorrow and can't PAY anyone to develop said patch, then what? Just use the patch the pirates have been using since before the game was officially released.
  • by fsterman ( 519061 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:01PM (#25178143) Homepage

    Why isn't there a tracker page at Defective By Design [] for how many of these DRM services have died? Google's video, Yahoo's music service, MSN Music, MTV,, CSS, etc?

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:04PM (#25178153) Homepage

    "But that's never going to happen to [DRM service X]. The company behind [DRM service X] is just too big and profitable!"

  • OK, I officially feel old. I mean yeah, CDs are very 1980s (I'm thinking about migrating my mp3 collection to Ogg Vorbis someday), but still...
  • support isn't free (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:48PM (#25178365)
    This is just an expected downfall to DRM. Why sell something you'd have to continue supporting when you could just sell something with little or no support such as DRM-free music? It's for the better. Every time I hear those three letters I roll my eyes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 27, 2008 @01:48PM (#25178367)

    Wal-Mart's music store didn't shut down. They just stopped doing DRM. That should be considered to be a good thing.

    Has anyone thought about lobbying Wal-Mart to offer the DRM-free versions of the DRM tracks that customers had bought, perhaps by paying whatever difference in price there was? That is something that Wal-Mart management might be convinced to do; but it won't happen if all you do is scream at Wal-Mart for shutting down their DRM servers.

    In other words, let's make this lemon into lemonade. Let's establish a precedent, that forces DRM stores to distribute DRM-free versions to the customers when the DRM store shuts down.

    That, boys and girls, will kill DRM faster than the current tone of bitching and moaning on ./

  • If enough people get burnt from companies pulling the plug on their music (books, games, etc), and have it effectively die, perhaps this wont just be a aberration and turn into a real trend where people refuse to buy encumbered files to begin with..

    I know its a real long shot, but i can still hope, right?

  • will happen with EA's DRM games. It's not IF it will happen, It is WHEN it does. One day they will decide to shut down the activation servers because of either money or they go out of business. All the games people have bought will be useless if they ever want to reinstall them at a later date.
  • by TRRosen ( 720617 )

    Apple gets sued because batteries wear out! But these DRM services can sell lifetime music rights and then shut down the service a couple of years later and not end up on the lossing end of a class action suit!

    I mean its not like Wal-Mart is going out of business. They have just decided they don't want to provide the service people have already paid for.

  • I haven't read the DMCA that closely, but I vaguely remember reading an exemption for breaking DRM if the DRM in question is no longer supported.

    Did I imagine it, or is there really wording in there somewhere to that effect?

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.