China’s largest stock photo flinger has been forced to backtrack after it tried to put its own price tags on images of the first black hole and the Chinese flag.
Visual China Group reportedly tried to hawk out the first-ever image of a supermassive black hole and its shadow, which was the painstaking work of boffins running the Event Horizon Telescope.
The website is reported to have tried to suck users into payment, describing the picture, on which it affixed its logo, as an “editorial image” and directed users to dial a customer rep to discuss commercial use.
According to Reuters, the firm said it had obtained a non-exclusive editing licence for the project for media use – but it was widely understood the images were released under a Creative Commons licence, specifically CC BY 4.0.
The pic pushers were also said to have drawn criticism for asking for payment for images such as China’s flag and logos of companies including Baidu.
After the Tianjin city branch of China’s internet overseer stepped in, Visual China apologised and said that it would “learn from these lessons” and “seriously rectify” the problem.
Copyright is such a brilliant system!