Britain's Entertainment Retailers Assn. has entered into the debate on DRM-free music.

The trade body's director general Kim Bayley has written a letter to the Financial Times newspaper in which she called on the music industry to drop DRM, claiming it was "stifling growth and working against the consumer interest".

She added, "For the good not just of the wider U.K. music industry, but of U.K. music fans, we call on record companies to adopt MP3 as the universal download format."

Bailey said that labels had been "quick to complain" when CD sales slumped, but noted that the use of DRM "might have added to the slow take-up of legal digital services." And as a result, retailers suffer the effects of the confusion, she explained.

The 150 million U.K. downloads milestone, announced last week by labels counterpart the BPI, amounts to "an average of less than one 79p ($1.60) per download per head of population per year," Bayley noted.