Digital-rights management is not the way to go in the mainland China music market, according to members of a panel discussion on DRM held on the opening day of the Music Matters conference in Hong Kong.

"DRM is never going to be successful in China," said Rick Myers, the Shanghai-based co-founder of investment and management advisory firm Dragonfly Revolution, "because people there expect music to be free."

"DRM is not a chastity belt -- it should be a G-string," Myers said. "It doesn't add any value to the consumer experience."

Simon Wheeler, director of digital at London-based Beggars Group Digital, said using DRM to prevent piracy is like "using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut."

"What we need is to find some way of monetizing the use of music," said Wheeler. "DRM should be an accountant, not a policeman."

R. Scott Dinsdale, Sony BMG Music Entertainment executive VP, digital operations and new technology, said the DRM debate needs to be "re-evaluated."

"We'd all like to have complete DRM control," he said. "The issue is how to create interoperability between DRMs so consumers have no idea it's even there."