Walmart Decides To Keep DRM Servers

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 10, 2008
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Music and Video

Who would have projected this? Walmart decided to keep the DRM servers running for now after announcing that they would be shutting down the DRM servers of their mp3 online store which would essentially mean that customers would not be able to transfer the music to another computer or device anymore.

It was actually very easy to predict. One simply had to look at all the other companies who decided to turn off their DRM servers leaving their customers standing in the rain. All of them caved in after announcing that they would turn off their DRM servers.

Why don't the decision makers look around first to get a feeling for what will happen if they announce the shutdown of DRM servers? It happened numerous times already in the last years and it always went off the same way. Company A announces the shutdown of their DRM servers. They usually do that by mailing their customers or posting an announcement in the online store.

The online community notices what company A is trying to do and is writing about it in protest. No one likes the decision of company A at that time. Bad press and customer complaints result in company A changing their mind and either providing their customers with a better deal or canceling the decision to turn off the servers.

Why can't there be an instructions manual for overpaid managers who think that laying all the burden of turning off a service on the customer is a good idea that would save the company money?

Here is the original email send out by Walmart (via Engadget):

NOTE: This is a follow-up to our email titled "Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases" from 9/26/08.

Based on feedback from our customers, we have decided to maintain our digital rights management (DRM) servers for the present time. What this means to you is that our existing service continues and there is no action required on your part. Our customer service team will continue to assist with DRM issues for protected windows media audio (WMA) files purchased from

While our customer support team is available to assist you with any issues, we continue to recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you insure access to them from any personal computer at any time in the future.

We appreciate your support and patience as we work to provide the best service possible to you. As we move forward with our 100% MP3 store, we'll continue to update you with key decisions regarding our service and your account via email.

Thank you for using Walmart MP3 Music Downloads.

The Walmart Digital Music Team

Who wants to bet on the next company that is making the same mistake?


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