In general, I believe that market forces bring the price down of access to information as processing power increases and transportation costs go down. The phrase, "Information wants to be free" is one expression of this thinking. There is much thinking around this topic.
One company frequently brought up on the topic of "free" is a personal favorite, Craigslist. So, I was surprised when I read today that CL is beginning to block spiders and search engine bots. A few months ago, CL had asked Oodle to stop listing CL listings.