Online music downloads carry a royalty at the point of purchase designed to compensate artists for use of their copyright-protected material. Payment of this royalty is facilitated using DRM technology. Yet, according to Bitkom, a German trade association, consumers pay up to ?150 in private copy levies for a typical home or small office setup with a PC, scanner, printer and CD or DVD burner, even if they purchase copy-protected digital content such as online music. That means European consumers are forced to pay usage rights multiple times for the same music: at the download point and through taxes imposed on their equipment.
Copy-protection technology known as digital rights management (DRM) is used on virtually all legal music downloads and subscriptions. It typically allows users to make a reasonable number of private copies while helping to prevent piracy.