This improves the (easy) technical hurdles, but how about (very difficult) social, economic, and bureaucratic ones?
One of the biggest competitive advantages companies have is data. Like the article and previous comment already said, adoption is the hardest barrier. Unless someone can provide a compelling reason for companies/scientists/etc to give data or data access, there really isn't much else to discuss.
I think sites like mashery and dapper.net are going in the right direction, by providing good licensing rights and monetization controls that can incent large companies with reliable datasets to participate.
It's a start for sure and it's great that freebase does this. But what I refer to is more like Google gives all their business location listings to Freebase. I don't think this will happen, but maybe something of less value while being still significant.