[Apart from ad hominum attacks, comments are always welcome here. I have, however, disabled automatic posting; each comment requires approval, this to avoid "comment spam."]
In his comments on my EFF/DRM blogicle, McDonald raises a number of issues that merit a response.
1. Context-based rules for addressing fair use concerns are difficult, but not impossible to implement well. And I agree that no matter how good the implementation, not everyone will be satisfied. Everyone can't be pleased; there are too many points of view. If a significant majority of fair use contexts can be addressed to the satisfaction of a significant majority of consumers, I'd be ready to declare victory. But McDonald is right that there is no quick fix or simple implementation.
2. I'm not sure whether copyright holders should or should not be able to design the players. This seems like a cute piece of EFF rhetoric but I'm not sure how telling it is. Ultimately, these issues stem from the unwillingness of EFF and some other critics to recognize intangibles as intellectual property. Rightsholders may (or may not) want to control the consumer experience of their intellectual property. At the moment, I believe that player design will be one basis of competition.
3. I strongly agree that consumers must be clearly notified in advance of purchase regarding copy protection and rights management limitations. As McDonald implies, it engenders ill will to discover these limitations after paying for content.
4. I also agree that regardless of complexity, poorly implemented and confusing DRM will justifiably anger and further alienate consumers without advancing the interests of content distributors. We are, in the 3rd wave of DRM implementations. As a group they have gotten more sophisticated and user friendly over time. Nevertheless, Goldilocks DRM is not yet in the marketplace.