You may recall when Yahoo Music went under and they turned off the DRM servers, effectively locking all the music bought from Yahoo. Well, it happened again, except this time it's Wal-Mart that will be thumbing its nose at consumers.
Wal-Mart announced that they would be turning their DRM-servers off, which will make any DRM-protected songs you bought from Wal-Mart useless. And Wal-Mart's solution to the problem? Just burn your music to a CD. That's it, no other help is available, no other options, no opportunity for a refund.
There is a small silver lining to the problem. Wal-Mart has been DRM-free since February 2008, so if you bought your music since then, you'll have no problems. If your music is older than that, tough luck.
This is a perfect example of why people shouldn't accept DRM. It's not because we plan on pirating music and software and making a profit off it. It's because we're afraid of being put in ridiculous situations like this, where we are punished for following the rules. How can they expect us to support DRM when music and software execs continually let the honest consumer get hurt.
This incident isn't going to start an uproar because there were probably only 32 people who have downloaded music from Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, it will probably take something bigger to make people realize that DRM only affects the honest. Can you imagine what would happen if Apple announced they were turning off the iTunes DRM servers?
You can see reviews of the major music download services here at TopTenREVIEWS, or you can read these other DRM-free blog posts: