Surprise, surprise. Barely two weeks after announcing plans to shut down its digital-rights-management authentication servers, Walmart has backpedaled. Engadget says the company has sent customers an e-mail to announce that the DRM servers will be staying up for the time being. Here's an excerpt:
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 Walmart.com.
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.
Walmart originally planned to shut down the servers on October 9, and it effectively told customers they had less than two weeks to back up their purchased music to 80-minute CDs. With DRM servers offline, protected tracks would no longer have worked after an operating system change or a move to a different computer.
Yahoo announced a similar move in July, although it gave users just over two months to make backups. A few days later, Yahoo also ended up backpedaling, but it opted to move forward with the shutdown while offering customers refunds and MP3-download coupons.