Conflicting Public Sector Information Policies and their Economic Impacts
Report: Borders in Cyberspace: Conflicting Public Sector Information Policies and their Economic Impacts. By Peter Weiss. U. S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, February 2002
"In other countries, particularly in Europe, publicly funded government agencies treat their information holdings as a commodity used to generate short-term revenue. They assert monopoly control on certain categories of information to recover the costs of its collection or creation. Such arrangements tend to preclude other entities from developing markets for the information or otherwise disseminating the information in the public interest.
In the US, open and unrestricted access to public sector information has resulted in the rapid growth of information intensive industries particularly in the geographic information and environmental services sectors. Similar growth has not occurred in Europe due to restrictive government information practices. As a convenient shorthand, one might label the American and European approaches as ‘open access’ and ‘cost recovery’, respectively. The cost recovery model is now being challenged on a variety of grounds." (http://www.primet.org/documents/weiss%20-%20borders%20in%20cyberspace.htm)