I think that this article : James Boyle: Web’s never-to-be-repeated revolutionv is important to note.
It makes some extremely relevant comments such as:
…there are three things that we need to understand about the web. First, it is more amazing than we think. Second, the conjunction of technologies that made the web successful was extremely unlikely. Third, we probably would not create it, or any technology like it, today. In fact, we would be more likely to cripple it, or declare it illegal.
…The lawyers have learnt their lesson now. The regulation of technological development proceeds apace. When the next disruptive communications technology – the next worldwide web – is thought up, the lawyers and the logic of control will be much more evident. That is not a happy thought.
The Internet is augubly the greatest engineering feat we have created to date, it has and will continue to change lives in ways that we are yet to imagine as it did 15 years ago.
We can only be greatful that 15 or 20 years ago corporations did not have the control that they do today.