Jason – I don’t think that making the web open was necessarily an altruistic act. It probably was, but if Berners-Lee were acting selfishly he would have come to to the same conclusion.
If the web were closed, Sir Tim would likely have a failed startup from the early 90’s to show for it. Because he opened it up, he made something valuable and is making a living with the WWW.
Obviously mankind benefitted from it, but opening up doesn’t need to be charity. Look at all the companies that contribute to open source software, or Magnatune records.