For far too long, getting access to important documents has meant having a very expensive subscription to an exclusive service. This has held true across disciplines, including politics, law, and academia. The Internet is starting to change this, lowering the cost of storing and transferring information to nearly nothing. With the help of pioneers like Carl Malamud and Lawrence Lessig, essential information -- whether governmental, academic, legal, or scientific -- is being freed from the boundaries set by traditional publishers, whose role as information stewards has too often ignored the interests of the general public, and served the needs of paying specialists.
(Disclosure: I'm happy to say that Professor Lessig is on Sunlight's Advisory Board, and Public.Resource.org is a Sunlight grantee.) (more)