We’ve entered an era of free and open information on the web, partly due to current revenue models and user trends but partly because the old institutions of knowledge cannot survive offline.
Encyclopedia Britannica recently opened part of its database to the public through Britannica Webshare (soon to be in use on LTB).
The Old Bailey updated its transcript archive in what is now a formidable resource for historians, writers and anyone with an interest in the UK legal system.
The Times newspaper recently launched its digital archive covering 2 centuries of news! The Internet may still be a child, but day by day it is maturing.