"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back"The entertainment industry is busy threatening and attacking free software authors and academics. The movie studios have used intellectual property rights to silence scientists, and censor journalists. If they succeed in their lobbying and legal efforts, the Internet as we know it and free operating systems in particular will be severely crippled or destroyed. No loss to them, a huge loss to us.
Robert Heinlein, "Life-Line"
Even more threateningly, some interests seem to use the tragic events of September 11, 2001 as an excuse for wide-ranging infringement on civil liberties, some of which may threaten the very ability to create free software at all.
Please refer to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Democracy and Technology or the Electronic Privacy Information Center for more information.