An excellent and well observed article from Cory Doctorow which clearly sets out one of the main reasons why the current knee jerk drive to protect and restrict intellectual property use through litigation is a dangerous and ultimately disastrous act.
In summary, the only way that innovative development works properly is when users are encouraged to experiment with technologies. No-one anticipated how important the telephone, PC, VCR or even the Web would be to their industries and the world in general until people started playing with them and using them for really useful purposes.
Folks like the RIAA and MPAA are trying to prevent users from experimenting with digital technology because they fear the disruption to their business models (hint – guys why not try to listen to your users and meet their needs properly, eh?) The telegraph and railway people must have done the same in their day when telephone and cars came along. Do we never learn?