Back when the Internet was struggling from the primordial ooze of the ARPAnet and shedding its gill flaps on the way to becoming something known as the NREN, Hank Perritt started to think about what that might mean for publishers and other information providers — particularly legal publishers. The “value chain” he posited twenty years ago is obvious stuff now — but remember that in those days we were still arguing about whether there should even be commercial use of the Internet (yeah, I know, I’m dating myself here).
So take a look at “Market Structures for Electronic Publishing and Electronic Contracting”, in Building Information Infrastructure: Issues in the Development of the National Research and Education Network (Harvard University and McGraw-Hill 1992) . The publication date on the book is 1992, but I remember seeing a draft of this article as early as 1989. Seems like it’s out of print and hard to get now (I can’t find it in Amazon), but any good academic library will have it, and you can find it on e-Bay.
Hank has done a lot of good stuff since, but this one (also something of an oldie) is a personal favorite of ours — it says a lot of things about legal information by talking about GIS data. See “Should Local Governments Sell Local Spatial Databases Through State Monopolies?“, 35 Jurimetrics Journal 449 (1995).