Just read an excellent report called "Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet: Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information" which was sponsored by the UK JISC among many others.
Maurizio and I are currently thinking about how businesses could benefit from the streams of data that are now coming into the public domain alongside that held privately. The value of a piece of data is hard to assess partly because it changes over time. Presumably, assessment is also difficult because value depends on what other data becomes available. Data set X may have little value until Data set Y comes along and then BINGO!
The paper I read this morning covers a wide range of economic issues that hinder data sustainability. It does focus on the social value of information rather than its commercial value. I am now wondering how its recommendations apply in a commercial setting in which the environmental and social benefits from data accessibility may not be the primarily motivation.