Users who purchased DRM content to be stuck
Wal-Mart is now the next company to announce that its online music service will be making the transition from DRM-protected music to DRM-free content, and as part of this transition they will be shutting down their DRM servers.
After October 9th, they will no longer be providing any support or have any ability to help users that have purchased WMA files that are DRM-protected. Of course, they are suggesting that you burn the DRM songs that you own to CD so that you will still be able to access the content that you have purchased.
Wal-Mart is just following the writing on the wall and understanding that the customers want DRM-free content, but those that tried to stay legal and purchased licensed content will now have to suffer through the industry transition to DRM-free content.
While the industry continues in this transition, it is somewhat strange that they are suggesting that users take advantage of the analog hole in making copies of their songs on CDRs. Many people were quick to point out that music shackled by DRM protection would be a problem if the DRM servers went away, and they seem to have been proven right.
We have to think that the better way to handle this situation is just to allow everyone that purchased the DRM-protected songs legally should be allowed to download the same song again without the DRM protection.
This seems like a better way to solve the entire problem. It just does not seem that any of these providers making the transition to DRM-free content get it. Consumers are going to think twice about purchasing anything online that has DRM on it, which in the end is going to hurt the entire electronic delivery sales mechanism.
I guess we will know who to blame after the dust settles.