'Breaking into the scene' of private darknets is diffcult for anyone who doesn't have pre-existing, probably real-world contacts (much like having ready access to good drugs, it might be easy for kids in a college environment, not so much for your average person). And at the end of the day, if you are going to limit your file sharing activities with a few people you know, you might as well just use email.
For a true culture of free information exchange, we need to look to systems that anyone with a connection and the right software can access and preferably search. This is far more technically challenging, and due to the measures taken to preserve anonymity, usually less convenient than what we are currently used to. But this will improve in due course. Tor, Freenet, I2P and others like them are the future, not walled gardens.
In terms of press, however, all of these places are trying to engage and inspire less technically literate folks (the masses). You don't do this by talking (online) about your most sophisticated/complicated work [this may give you 'geek-cred', but that's about it]. I know of, and have been to, yet another makerspace like this in Seattle and they've created a walled garden; feeling uninviting and intimidating, even from my heavily geekish perspective.
I don't think you're giving the 'great unwashed masses' enough credit. There must be plenty who don't identify themselves as geeks or nerds, yet would jump at the chance to learn how store bought gadgets can be subverted and repurposed for their own ends, it's cool and useful. When people see a club where you get to make little plastic egg cups with flashing LEDs, sorry but it doesn't have quite the same impact. Don't mean to be harsh, that might be the tip of the iceberg of what these places are capable of, but I'm calling it how I see it.
There is far too much technology in danger of being seen as only the business of big corps and terrorists, the more people who accept dabbling in it as an acceptable hobby, the harder it will be to make it illegal to dabble in it in the future. Choose ambitious, useful and above all inspiring projects, the more chance you have of getting the attention of people other than 'mouth breathing nerds'.
It's not often these days I have any faith in protest actions by the general public having any meaningful impact, but to me this incident is just crying out for some action to at least cause the waste of oxygen who brought the lawsuit some hassle, and hopefully make anyone else considering similar actions think twice. What needs to happen is for as many people as possible to take the same photograph on their cameras and upload to image sites, forums, wherever, with a link or explanation included. Ideally, someone would host a website containing the explanation people can link to (no need to actually host any images there and make oneself a DMCA magnet). The uniqueness original work will become so diluted as to be worthless, awareness of this bullshit ruling would be spread, and there's no way you take down all the 'infringing' images.