Consumers Convince Wal-Mart to Keep DRM Servers

Wal-Mart has changed course and decided to keep its DRM servers up and running, according to an e-mail posted at Engadget.

The company had announced late last month that it would shut the servers down, meaning anyone who downloaded tracks from its Web site before February — when it switched to DRM-free files — would no longer be able to transfer the music to other computers or devices. (At least, not without taking the backdoor approach of burning it to disc, then re-ripping it.)

Now, Wally World says “based on feedback from [its] customers,” it will “maintain [its] digital rights management (DRM) servers for the present time,” the e-mail obtained by Engadget indicates. No telling how long that “present time” will end up being — but hey, it’s reassuring to see that a massive customer backlash can, sometimes, make a difference.

In the meantime, Apple is still facing a fight to completely drop its digital rights protection from iTunes-downloaded songs. A consumer rights official in Norway says the company’s restrictions violate his nation’s laws by not letting customers play their purchases on any device they want. Apple has until November 3 to respond to a Norwegian court. Its final ruling isn’t expected until early next year.