I don't know if this is really a good analogy for the high cost of high end information, but I often think a lot of educational expenses are designed to create barriers to entry to keep more people from trying to enter a given field. I'd argue that no one needs three years at a law school to train to become a lawyer. People should be allowed to simply take the bar exam, pass it and get a license. But thank god there's some kind of serious financial obstacle. We already have way too many lawyers. It would be far more efficient to simply charge $50,000 to take the bar exam, but not so good for law schools. But it's important for academia to reel in those people who would otherwise just educate themselves to a PhD level without paying for a degree, which would be entirely possible if there was free open access to the best information.