Losing the public domain

Boing Boing has managed to find a way to anger me first thing in the morning today. Thanks to research conducted by public.resource.org the Government Accountability Office has sold exclusive rights to its legislative history to Thomson West (a company that has probably changed ownership again in the time its taken me to write this).

It sounds like the driving reason behind this sale was actually about using Thomson West’s resources to digitize the contents 2,595 linear feet of shelving and not about the profit. I can sort of forgive that, but the fact remains that a part of the public domain has been sold off to a private organization, and I can’t help feeling like a horrible precedent has been set here.

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