Leaving Reality Behind : etoy vs eToys.com & other battles to control cyberspace

Leaving Reality Behind : etoy vs eToys.com & other battles to control cyberspace

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In November 1999, at the height of the e-commerce gold rush, a hearing in a Los Angeles courtroom wrenched open the fault lines that ran through the Internet.

On one side was eToys.com, the billion-dollar darling of Wall Street and the brainchild of Toby Lenk, one of the hottest entrepreneurs of his generation. On the other side was etoy, a group of cutting-edge European artists, hungry for fame, who used the Internet as their canvas. The struggle between them became known as the Toywar. At stake were liberty, justice, and the speedy delivery of toys.

Leaving Reality Behind is the definitive and gripping account of a battle that shook the Internet and sharply focused attention on the conflict at its very core: Was the Internet created as entertainment for the many or for the exponential profit of the few? This riveting case reveals the larger story behind the first decade of the Web -- the conflict surrounding its creation; the invention of search engines; the battle over domain names, and the discovery of the glittering promise of online retailing -- when the capital markets left reality behind.

As the real-life thriller of the Toywar came to its climax, the online world went into meltdown. There remained one crucial question: After the Internet crash of 2000, which would prove more enduring -- an eight-billion-dollar corporation built by America's brightest businessmen or a chaotic art project created by a group of artsy rebels from Europe?