"When I was a child:
Running in the night,
Afraid of what might be
Hiding in the dark,
Hiding in the street...
The Hounds of Love are hunting" 
Mammals are relentlessly innovative. That's a good survival trait. Given the capacity for the environment to go wonkers when some hidden force like a volcano erupts, a disease silently begins to whack the babies or a kid hits puberty, relentless innovation claims the prize for doing before done unto. Some mammals are herd mammals and others aren't. This is also a survival trait but it isn't ubiquitous among the furry warm bloods. Some float with the crowd that has the best looking Others as members, and some just float until other mammals invite them to a party. Then there are the loners. Some of them go on to become top corporate executives and others, psychopaths on the six o'clock news. Why one becomes or chooses one or the other is a tough call, but because mammals are relentlessly innovative, theories abound.
"Take my shoes off and throw them in the lake
And I'll be two steps on the water." 
Then came the Internet: a product born of the extraordinarily relentness innovation of North American mammals and their Cold War paranoia by which it was empirically demonstrated that successful executives and psychopaths could be the same people at the same party. The brilliance of it was that it was like water: reusable, simple, fundamental and recyclable. Once the PsychoMammalElite were done worrying about their Cold War, they offered the 'Net up for FREE at the Thrift Shop of Unclaimed Military Baggage. The genius of its design eeemmmmmeerrged.
The same features that made it theoretically possible to point a command and control droid to another droid after the first one was turned into unaddressable storage (say write only memory) that glowed regardless of whether the grid was up or down made it possible to get really good photos of mammalian pulchritudinousness without the postage or the brown paper bag. One click; some waiting, and there it was: nude mammals with all the parts. For FREE.
So begat the downloading that begat the desktop that begat the ISP that begat the two line home that begat the world wide wait that begat the DSP and the cableMowDem that begat the monthly bill that begat the taxless product that begat the urge to tax that begat the urge to mark that begat XML by which all things could be marked
"It's coming for me through the trees." 
That's a geek joke but I digress.
First, it was pictures and those were easy to find and get. Then came the music files, and those were easy to find and get too but the musicians who lived off royalties objected. Then came the movies but only to the mammals with broadband, a way of saying I can afford a big phone bill but won't take my kids to the cinema. All of this was justified by a fanciful notion called 'the frictionless economy'.
Among mammalian lifeforms, self-lubricating systems aren't all that innovative, but given one that takes, another one is making out, up, or do, or otherwise, negotiating.
This is called product for value. It isn't a terribly complicated idea: I make the original and a copy. You can get the copy if I tell you where it is. Now with a certain amount of excitement, some systems will self-lubricate, that is, if you can excite them enough, they are ready to receive or take. In others, if you want access, you grease the port. The problem comes of wanting without having the grease when using a system that isn't self-lubricating or excited.
"I found a fox caught by dogs.
He let me take him in my hands." 
Free has a way of conflicting with unavailableByDesign. While the Internet, really just a big set of data plumbing pipes, can enable exchanges of all kinds, those that want everything for free are not compatible with those that want to grease the 'natch. It is easy to dress up the 'should be free' with lofty words but these tend to obscure the negotiation. On the other hand, there are those who insist that the only proper exchange is one that is monitored and taxed to support the infrastructure. If mammals bred like that, fish would rule the world.
"Do you know what I really need?
Do you know what I really need?" 
The Internet, whose rise to public prominence was driven by that mammalian urge for pubic places is now caught smack in the middle of the herds of nerds that love it, the loners that build it, and the successful executives and psychopaths who want to control it. A rising tide floats all boats except the ones tied to the dock. If we ignore the need to grease the web, that sucking sound you hear could be your local commodity tax base collapsing only to be buttressed by your rising property taxes. If we don't stop the psychoExecs from using their authority to inspect and tax every item on it, that sound you hear and picture you see will start to look just like that reality series on cable that you just can't watch but TVLand is still running Andy and Barney and you already know the end of every sitcom on the Hitler Channel.
"Do you know what I mean? Do you know what I really mean?" 
They say the Internet routes around censorship. It's a good theory but like the theory that it could route around a nuclear fireball, it's never been tested so it remains yet another theory.
"The Hounds of Love are hunting, and I don't know what's good for me." 
Doc Searls says he does. Do give this a read.
To Barlow, I say, "J.P., I've been to a few of Uncle John's Band's
gigs. The tickets weren't FREE, the t-shirts weren't FREE, and even if I had a tape recorder, I couldn't get close enough to Captain Trips to get a worthy sound. But it was WELL worth the price of admission and still will be even without Jerry (Miss the Man? Yes I do.). Just be factual about the cost of the Marin Lifestyle, Dude. It ain't virtual."
To Doc, I say, "I don't want to restrict your choices or mine and we do need to fight those who do, but the truth is, it IS just another medium even if it has a Google number of channels and the TV talks back. Different parties have different party rules and those who don't want to stick to them will be visited by Master Jack and His Hammers who will pound their profits into plowshares to sell at the next county auction. I'm all for diversity, but I'm against the pedofile who wants to pick up a kid and the kid who wants to redistribute someone else's property like Robin Hood. I gave away recordings for free only to watch the dot.bomb that was to send me an occasional shekel keep changing the points and then selling them to the Frogs. So if someone is going to give it up for free, it will be me...excited by the prospect of a lady with five kids in Australia and a big farm to run driving her rig across her fields listening to my music. Let the lubing begin."
I suspect freedom of choice means we choose among options offered freely. So we better get busy figuring out what's good for us before those options are gone. The Hounds of Love are hunting. I can't tell if they're sniffing for a treat or a bite, but I'm still waiting for a new Kate Bush album, likely will until retirement, and as much as I love her music, I know it won't be free, but it will be worth the lube... with no problems.
"And I'm ashamed of running away
From nothing real.
I just can't deal with this,
But I'm still afraid to be there,
Among your Hounds of Love." 
 "The Hounds of Love" Kate Bush
Copyright 1985 - EMI America