By Gavin, 17th June 2010
Things wrong with Companies House Crown Copyright data disclosure (which allows free copying)
Get the DVD rom of the data – SIGH
£30 for a copy of the data – PARTIAL WIN (it’s accessible)
£1200 if you want to actually save the data – FAIL
Crown Copyright Data is in a closed format – FAIL (although in a trivially hackable form)
DVD self-destructs after 6 months – WTF!
(not stated at the point of sale, or on the phone when I called them)
Then it gets worse;
Windows *only* — not stated anywhere apart from the booklet inside the DVD (e.g. not on the website, phone or on the outside of the DVD)
Uses ActiveX wrapped into an executable — so I had to reset my default browser to IE…
Requires the DVD to be in the drive (“please insert DVD number XXX”) — so tied to that specific DVD
Has an “Award for excellence” badge on the back of the DVD.
My verdict: 1/10. Not excellent. Not even good. I couldn’t do what I needed to with this open, Crown Copyright data. They have an XML API, but that is traffic-restricted.
FOI request sent.