Do you ever donate to a medical charity? Or help run a charity shop? On the expectation that your funding will go to research aimed at curing or ameliorating disease?If so, much of the output will be primarily in scientific publications. And most of this will be closed.
Are you an amateur palaeontologist? Or a citizen scientist in Galaxy Zoo? An ornithologist? Interested in economics? Or cryptography? Searching the Internet will throw up many references to academic papers. How many can you read? Remember that the authors don't expect to get paid by you for writing them.
Where will the next earthquake come? Are you worried about floods? Are E-numbers bad for you? Much of this is in publications. Most of those closed.
Do you read Ben Goldacre's bad science? Much of that talks about scholarly publications. Wouldn't you like to read them? (30 dollars, please, for one day).
In the information age people expect to find information. Governments insist on it.
Why don't academics?
NOTE: Sleepless the bear stars next Sunday. This is a trailer.