Photo Agency Fined 300,000 Yuan For Charging For Free Images

Visual China Group, a Beijing-based photo agency, has been fined 300,000 yuan (US$44,735) by the Internet watchdog of Tianjin for selling images that were in the public domain.


VCG has suspended its service and it is not known when it will resume, it said in a statement.


It was putting things right, it said.


VCG came under fire after many images and photographs available for sale on were found to be problematic, said the Tianjin Cyberspace Administration.


These included the recently released image of a Black Hole and China’s national emblem and flag. VCG was charging fees for their use.


The image of the Black Hole, based on observations made by the Event Horizon Telescope, can be downloaded free from the website of the European Southern Observatory, and the national emblem and flag are prohibited from being commercially used by law.


Source: SHINE