Here's a quote I ran across today from Lawrence Lessig (whom I heard speak for a few minutes in July!):

[W]hile the Internet has indeed produced something fantastic and new, our government, pushed by big media to respond to this "something new," is destroying something very old. Rather than understanding the changes the Internet might permit, and rather than taking time to let "common sense" resolve how best to respond, we are allowing those most threatened by the changes to use their power to change the law – and, more importantly, to use their power to change something fundamental about who we have always been.

We allow this, I believe, not because it is right, and not because most of us really believe in these changes. We allow it because the interests most threatened are among the most powerful players in our depressingly compromised process of making law. (p. 13, Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity)

Assuming Lessig is right, what do we do about it? He's been talking and writing about this for a long time now. But he doesn't (we don't) seem to be getting much traction...