Doc Searls has a wonderful long article at Linux Journal that pinpoints where we are in the evolution of the Internet. An excerpt:
The Net's problem, from [the telecommunications and cable companies'] perspective, is it was born without a business model. Its standards and protocols imagine no coercive regime to require payment—no metering, no service levels, no charges for levels of bandwidth. Worse, it was designed as an end-to-end system, where all the power to create, distribute and consume are located at the ends of the system and not in the middle. [...] The Net's end-to-end nature is so severely anathema to cable and telco companies that they have done everything they can to make the Net as controlled and asymmetrical as possible.
The article, like most, has a U.S. focus, but its ideas reach internationally, and they're worth reading and thinking about. Doc's basic point: the Internet is an environment, a place for markets of all kinds (monetary and not) to form, and not, in itself, property that should be owned or sold. Turning it into property will kill it.