Re: He does NOT have a point
"Extrapolate the development of DRM into the future and we might well end up with a compartmentalized system managed via routine ('standard') DRM. There are obvious interest groups that would love this development: big publishers, control-freak security agencies, anybody that hopes to control and monetize your data consumption. It's a slippery slope."
You forget one important detail. Providers don't HAVE to use the Web. Nor do they have to publish their stuff in the ways WE want it. THEIR stuff, THEIR rules, and if you don't like it, the door's right there.
That's the most fundamental thing we have to realize. It's THEIRS, NOT OURS (if it were ours, we'd be communists). Unlike music, movies have large budgets, so they take big risks (a record bomb might be six or seven figures--a movie bomb is at least eight; Heaven's Gate was a $40M bomb 30 years ago). They're MUCH more risk-averse and more likely to take the ball than just let it go.
What Berners-Lee is saying is that if you don't standardize DRM on the Web, the content providers (who won't go without DRM no matter how much we kick and scream--live with it) will go OUTSIDE the Web to other protocols like RTSP, which may not be as open or as well-understood. Or they'll continue to encapsulate their HTTP traffic in proprietary ways. Either way, the Web becomes secondary to them.
So basically, DRM is here to stay, like it or not, and it can exist with or without the WWW. So the choice is yours: embrace DRM or relegate the Web. No middle ground is possible.
As for the whole patent/copyright debate, they both have their uses. They're an alternative to commissions by the rich, which were how the most recognized works of art were typically made before the modern system. Most artists need to make a living, and these give them a possibility without rich clients. We don't need to abolish them, just limit them back to the way they were before: short terms enough to make a living off but not enough to excessively milk. We should also account for the accelerated pace of some industries and make some terms even shorter (ex. make software patents 3-4 years long to account for rapid progress in the tech industry--and no, copyright won't work on a technique since you can weasel around copyright with a clean-room copy--that's how the PC Clone BIOS was made; only patents can cover ALL the bases).