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Wal-Mart Closes Down DRM Operations, Makes Music Unplayable

September 29, 2008 4:52 PM ET

People who bought music from the Wal-Mart digital music store prior to February 2008 will soon be unable to access their music, thanks to the company's dismantling of its out-of-use DRM technology. "If you have purchased protected WMA music files from our site prior to Feb 2008, we strongly recommend that you back up your songs by burning them to a recordable audio CD. By backing up your songs, you will be able to access them from any personal computer," the company said in a statement. "This change does not impact songs or albums purchased after Feb 2008, as those are DRM-free." This makes sense to us and the majority of digital music-buying population, as DRM is bad and Wal-Mart is doing away with it, but tell that to anybody who invested in Wal-Mart's vast download store. No word yet whether Wal-Mart will allow consumers to replenish their digital music libraries with the DRM-free MP3s rather than forcing them to degrade in quality.

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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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