Serial government-closedness-shamer Carl Malamud and his shaming-crony Peter Brantley have locked sights on the US Copyright Officefor not sharing their database of copyright information (how are you supposed to avoid violating copyright if you don’t know what’s under copyright? Never use any document ever, I guess).
In his blog post on the subject , Brantley has this to say about the state of the Copyright Office’s current information access scheme:
Presently, the Copyright Office charges $55,125 to obtain the retrospective online database, and $31,500 for a current-year subscription that must be annually renewed, for an entry cost of $86,625. Copyright records are available for free only on what the Copyright Office calls a “record-oriented” interface, which has the functionality one would expect of an IBM 3270 terminal emulator dressed up in a style sheet.