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Copy-protection flummoxes German punters

Support calls sap profits for Musicload

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A leading German music download service has criticised the music industry's attachment to DRM after reporting that problems associated with the controversial copy-protection technology are responsible for three in four of its support calls.

Deutsche Telekom's Musicload said its customers frequently have problems getting DRM technology to work properly. As a result, the online store is spending a small fortune fielding support calls, frustrating its attempts to turn a decent profit from selling music online.

In a newsletter, Musicload said that DRM "makes the use of music quite difficult and hinders the development of a mass-market for legal downloads," Ars Technica reports. It added that a lack of compatibility between different approaches to DRM is also stifling the development of the online music market.

Musicload sells music from small labels that comes unencumbered by DRM. The outlet reports that artists who have dropped DRM have enjoyed a 40 per cent boost in sales since last December. However, its adds that the major labels are interested in selling DRM-free MP3s.

The attack on controversial copy-protection technology by a leading German service comes weeks after Apple's Steve Jobs also criticised DRM. Unlike Musicload, Apple's iTunes Store does not offer DRM-free music. ®

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