You know what customers would do with a car that couldn't steer? Run like hell. If their MP3 files were really similarly crippled (though perhaps not quite as deadly, Mr. Brown), I'm willing to bet they would do the same -- to non-DRM competitors such as eMusic, perhaps, or even to plain old-fashioned CDs. For DRM to fail in the entertainment industry, all that needs to happen is for customers to choose not to buy it, which in turn should convince artists not to use it.
But the FSF has chosen a different path. Convinced, perhaps, that average consumers are too stupid to know what's good for them, it's embarked on a mission that's even more insidious than the DRM it opposes. No DRM system ever told an artist what notes to play or what lyrics were OK to sing. But the FSF seems intent on doing just that.
One of the original tenets of the GPL was that users of software should be free, not just to run the software and make copies of it, but to examine its code and improve on it. Free software means, among other things, the freedom of programmers to write code.
But not, apparently, under the new FSF order. In this new worldview, DRM is Wrong. It is verboten. And who knows what other algorithm or subroutine might be cast out next; but who are we to question? By abandoning social and economic arguments in favor of a moral one, the FSF is in effect telling us that God is on its side.
This shift is very troubling. Among its other devices, the FSF has chosen to unilaterally re-christen DRM as "digital restrictions management." If I were to stoop to that level, I might describe the FSF as the "Fundamentalist Software Foundation." But why go there? If free software is going to maintain its relevance to the broader user and business community, it must resist the temptation toward further radicalism, give up the name-calling and demagoguery, and re-embrace the rationality that Richard Stallman has demonstrated in the past.
Free software has proved its worth. That good reputation can only be damaged by turning a movement into a crusade.