Last December, Wal-Mart killed off its ailing online video service, leaving the digital rights management (DRM) intact so that buyers were stuck with useless movies that only played on the original computer they were purchased on. Now Engadget reports that the mega-retailer is doing the same thing to its music customers.
“[Wal-Mart] has decided to follow the footsteps of so many others and hit the kill switch on its DRM management servers. As noted in an e-mail to customers, Wally World will be making the final transition into a fully DRM-free MP3 store on October 9th, and in order to keep those DRM-laden files playable on anything, it’s recommended that you burn protected files on a CD on the double.”
The report said that if you ignore the warning, you’ll be unable 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.” The people who download music illegally from P2P sites, of course, aren’t affected by this latest shutdown. Only the honest customers who bought music legally from Wal-Mart get screwed, as has happened so many times before with other stores.