Chris Taggart is the Co-Founder & CEO of OpenCorporates, the largest open database of companies in the world, with data on over 175 million companies in 130+ jurisdictions.
OpenCorporates’ primary mission is to open up and connect company data from across the globe, making it more useful, usable and understandable for the public benefit and is a critical tool for investigative journalists, NGOs, academics, due diligence professionals, law enforcement and government agencies from across the globe.
OpenCorporates is a social enterprise and has also been the leading force behind the push to make company registers open data for access to all – with numerous successes. Its mission is supported by an innovative virtuous-circle, public-benefit business model, whereby the free public access is subsidized by commercial users who paid for data in bulk, having confidence in its quality due to the intrinsic many-eyes feedback loop. Commercial users include Mastercard, Capital One, Factset, Transferwise and PWC.
Chris was originally a magazine journalist, but has been working in the field of open data for over 10 years, and is considered a world expert on official company data.
The Open Source movement promised free, open, editable software. But that movement didn’t anticipate the rise of for-profit services built atop such free tools. Today, you’re more likely to use open source code as part of a paid service than you are to use open source products on your own machines.
That’s a problem. Because when you lose the right to edit code, you give up...