The monetary 'free' of the internet is sleight of hand. It actually costs quite a bit and some 'providers' get paid handsomely. Telecommunications carriers seem to have the best deal. Who doesn't get paid are the legions of writers who put stuff on it, people who spend their time creating the pages, the sites, the blogs etc. The unsung and unpaid providers.
The capitalist system would have a user pays principle. We have that only in part. Instead of i'net connection fees, carrier fees etc, there could just as easily be a user fee with a price per page read set, say a 20th of a cent, which is then split amongst the input providers, the telecoms, the ISPs etc. That way the page 'owner' would recieve an income commensurate with his/her readability and popularity/usefulness. Even at 100th of a cent as a share those sites which get the thousands of hits a day would soon get a tidy income. It could be a service/accounting provision of the carriers who already have billing systems in place. Even cut and paste items could be tracked and the authors paid. Just think how much MRA sites would get in!
The issue isn't going to go away. It will need to be resolved.