The private provision of public goods

Here is a bizarre story, especially for traditional public finance economists.  Public.Resource.Org takes non-copyrighted documents that the federal government charges the public for and puts them into the public domain.  Not much is available now but the service wants to make available for free all of the millions of documents, videos and other material from National Technical Information Service.  To build their library Public.Resource.Org are asking people who want a government document to buy it through their service.  They will then make the document available to everyone else for free.

Public goods that the government charges for brought to you at P=MC by a private firm.  We live in a great world.

Addendum: I was pleased to see that Hal Varian is on the board of directors.


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