This article relates an interesting example of a government agency wanting to make information available for free to the public using older technology (FTP), but charging for better access (Web Services, continuous feeds).
GSA to charge $2,500 for Web services access to procurement data
By Jason Miller, Government Computer News 12/29/04
The General Services Administration made it official yesterday, setting a one-time fee of $2,500 for vendors and the public to receive a direct, continuous feed from the new Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation via Web services.
The data will remain free for those who choose to receive the information via File Transfer Protocol or to perform ad hoc or prewritten queries of the database, GSA said in the interim rule with a request for comments published in Tuesday’s Federal Register. Comments are due Feb. 28.
(“Web Services” is a term than encompasses a broad range of technologies that have the potential for transforming the web as we know it to something much more exciting and functional — in the same way that HTML transformed The Internet from file transfer and email to what we use today. See, for example, http://www.w3.org/2002/ws/ and http://webservices.xml.com/pub/a/ws/2001/04/04/webservices/index.html.)
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