Someone working for these large for-profit corporations a few years back definitely deserves their salary and bonuses. Consider: free software started getting better and better, and actually started to compete with commerical software. How could the big corporations fight this? Well, they can't be in business giving away their software, so they had to either stop the free software (difficult), or make it become non-free. How do you do that? Well, someone figured out (or lucked out on) the attack of intellectual property.
Pervert the patent system, perhaps by systematically flooding it with patents for things that shouldn't be patented, slowly twisting things around so that you can kill free software with patents. Also cultivate regions and individual courts to be supportive of IP lawsuits.
Perhaps this wasn't a big conspiracy by the for-profit corporations. Perhaps they just worked at many angles until they got one to work. I'm not sure I believe that.
What does the future hold? Will this mess collapse? Unfortunately, I doubt it, at least in most of the western world. Countries like the U.S. are simply too dependent on, and so supportive of, the large, for-profit corporations. They create lots of jobs, after all (so the official line goes). At some point it *must* collapse, because it holds back progress, but we might have a long wait.