I found the abstract for Volker Grassmuck's discussion of the '3 models of free knowledge' from Idlelo. He describes them as follows:
'* Public Domain Knowledge; in the technical legal sense: knowledge not or not any longer protected by IPRs, knowledge that belongs to everyone.
* Public Knowledge; paid for by taxes, public broadcast fees and other mandatory contributions. Science at public universities and public broadcasts are important examples, and the Open Access Archives movement in science and the recent decision by the BBC to make its archives freely accessible on the Internet are moves to reclaim the publicness of these resources.
* Commons Knowledge; in the strict sense: the property of a community of creators. Prime examples here are the free software communities that regulate their boundaries with the help of licences, the GNU General Public License (GPL) being the prime example. The free online encyclopedia Wikipedia is the most powerful current demonstration that the free software model is applicable to other forms of knowledge as well.'
I'm really interested in another distinction based on South Africa's Freedom of Information Act where 'information in the public interest' is made accessible - even if it is held by private institutions. The South African History Archives (an independent institution) would be an example of this - as well as a number of other NGOs and independent bodies that have taken over government's traditional responsibilities. The way I see it, another big problem, especially in the developing world, is that the body of public knowledge (paid for by taxes) is becoming smaller and smaller as governments increasingly privatise services or are simply not able to efficiently service the population resulting in a proliferation of NGOs and non-profits taking over their roles. Surely regulation should start to emcompass accessibility to knowledge that falls outside the traditional definition of 'government information'? Surely?