This Guardian UK article includes:
Our taxes fund the collection of public data - yet we pay again to access it. Make the data freely available to stimulate innovation, argue Charles Arthur and Michael Cross
I was told about this article in the Citizens for Open Access to Civic Information and Data (COACID) mailing list. This is a Canadian group that among other things is trying to get this information we have already paid for out of governments so that we can have all the follow-on economic and social benefits.
In other areas Canadian policy makers like to point to our trading partners. The United States does not have the concept of Crown Copyright. In fact, all works created by the US government are automatically in the public domain.