I've been working with phone directories for a few decades, where many companies are in basically the same position that you are - making a living from public information. Most data is collected from phone companies that dump their customer databases to the phone directory companies. This process and the associated tariffs are regulated by law. This data must be processed and cleaned up before it is passed on. Then there are data consumers - in the old days these were people reading the phone books. These days, data consumers are people browsing the web and all sorts of web apps that connect to the phone book through one of several apis. Most telephone directory companies provide search apis for their databases - usually not for free. Everything is a one-way street, of course. Information flows downstream, money goes upstream. No phone directory company that I know of will voluntarily mirror their database to anyone. Search APIs, yes. Mirrors, no. Phone directories are sometimes distributed to consumers and businesses on cd/dvd, but never without at least an attempt at scrambling and restricting its usage. You could probably make a business for a while selling an open, mirrored copy of your database. People will pay for subscriptions. The problem is, any one of your customers could choose become your competitor at any time. The more successful you are the more likely someone is to do that. Maybe you can protect yourself legally, but most people prefer to lock their door even in jurisdictions where trespassing is forbidden. Competition in your area would be nice for everyone else, your customers as well as your competitors, so as a member of "everyone else" I should say go for it. But you're no dummy. You got your company name posted on slashdot after all!