Why doesn't the industry come together (possibly with help from the CEA) to create a neutral, embedded clearinghouse firmware application that will enable media players to identify non-native DRM wrapped media along with the ability to download the proper codec and DRM restrictions applicable for playback?
Interoperability among rights management systems is technically a most tricky issue. And there are business model implications as well. Let me deal with these first.
As many others have noted, DRM is being used not only to protect digital information, but as a basis for competitive advantage. Apple's FairPlay DRM in iTunes is an often cited example. Grundner's suggestion implies that numerous companies would forgo competitive advantage for wider use and revenue. This appears to be a likely outcome in the mobile space where the OMA standard provides standard may be implemented and supported widely. It's not clear whether something similar will happen in music and/or video distribution. Nonetheless, Grundner's suggestion might eventually be perceived as net positive for Apple and the others who would have to agree.
There, however, nasty technical issues that would have to be resolved. The most difficult one relates to the embedded firmware together with its external net accessible (I believe that this is what is being suggested) DRM clearinghouse. One of the reasons why one doesn't see more interoperability among DRM systems--apart from intellectual property and business issues--has to do with rules. As noted in the sidebar to the left, rights management is about rules governing use and use consequences. The latter include payment and the authorized collection and reporting of use information. Some DRM systems support a relatively narrow set of rules; others support a diverse set of business models. For Grundner's idea to work, the device with the embedded application would have to know how to implement the broadest range of models and the semantics (language or code) in which they were defined. Not impossible, but difficult to pull off reliably.
Nevertheless, Grundner has proposed an idea worth thinking about. It's implementation, of course, will depend on the behavior of numerous large companies focused on short-term bottom line issues.