Information about French companies, collected and centralised by InfoGreffe, will now be freely accessible. French Members of Parliament have voted in favour of article 19 of the draft Loi Macron (named after Emmanuel Macron, Minister of Economic Affairs, who supports the law). The article, which states that InfoGreffe information will now be available as Open Data, was approved in February.
In France, The Registre national du commerce et des sociétés (RNCS - National Registry of Commerce and Companies) compiles all the data about companies (capital, type of companies, financial results, owner, etc.). InfoGreffe is a paid service created by clerks from the Commercial Court who collect RNCS data. For example, an extract from the RNCS costs EUR 3.12.
Article 19 will put an end to this by “allowing the openness and the free sharing of RNCS information”, in order to “improve the dissemination and re-use” of the legal data of companies centralised in the RNCS. The INPI (Institut national de la propriété intellectuelle) has now been tasked with “freely distributing the digitally processed data contained in the RNCS for the purpose of re-use, including by companies specialised in the valorisation of economic information”. Clerks from the Commercial Court must transfer the corporate information they have collected to INPI as Open Data at no charge.
The making of InfoGreffe data freely accessible is related to an important Open Data programme promoted by the French government, according to the article of the draft law.
The clerks of the Commercial Court, who used to profit from selling RCNS information via InfoGreffe, are opposed to the new law, as it “threatens their financial stability”. They believe that, as they collect this information, they have intellectual property rights to these data. However Emmanuel Macron believes that the data belong to the French government.