Sharing isn’t new.
Open Courses at the university level are making news (I’m still working on my own Python experience with the P2P MOOC).
Open Educational Resources are beginning to make an impression in K-12 education, too.
But you may also want to review the history of open/Free Software. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has collected the story of the ten oldest open/Free Software: http://www.zdnet.com/the-10-oldest-significant-open-source-programs-7000009735/