The promise of technology has never been greater. But the future of democratized communications and collaboration has never been more in doubt. Powerful corporate and political interests are taking control of the hardware, software and networks that have given humanity unprecedented creative opportunities. They are re-centralizing the platforms – the Internet in particular – that have been fountains of innovation because of their decentralized nature. Their motives are not evil in most cases, even though their actions are causing enormous long-term damage. And they are succeeding in part because most of their customers either don’t realize what is happening or don’t care. The chapter will start with someone’s personal story, or with a scenario of a locked-down future.

Sidebar: Apple and me, a love story that went sour.

Sidebar: A representative of the entertainment industry explains why online freedom needs stricter limits.

Sidebar: Someone from Electronic Frontier Foundation on why we shouldn’t have to ask Hollywood for permission to innovate.