UK retailers call to drop DRM

UK music retailers have called on record companies to scrap DRM altogether because competing technologies are restricting industry growth.

UK retailers call to drop DRM

Competing usage restriction technologies are, “stifling growth and working against the consumer interest,” says Kim Bayley, director-general of the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

The BPI, which represents UK record labels, says that 150 million downloads have now been sold in the UK, a pitifully low figure in Bayley’s opinion.

“Sadly, that amounts to an average of less than one 79p per download per head of population per year.”

Record companies have been quick to blame file sharing on the Internet for falling CD sales, she says, but at the same time their own insistence on DRM might have contributed to the slow adoption of authorised means of getting music over the net.

Digital music retailer 7Digital recently said that DRM-free tracks from EMI and independent labels are outselling restricted downloads by four-to-one.

“Consumers are a lot savvier than some people think,’ says Ben Drury, managing director of 7digital.com.

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