European Southern Observatory: Visual China has never contacted us and has no right to sell it.

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 European Southern Observatory: Visual China has never contacted us and has no right to sell it.


Shortly after the release of the first black hole photo on Tuesday evening, April 9, Beijing Time, Visual China listed the photo as an edited image copyrighted, saying, This picture is an edited image. For commercial purposes, please call 400-818-2525 or consult a customer service representative.

Visual China even claims copyright to the black hole image. In other words, if Visual China takes the copyright of the picture and the media or individuals do not use the picture in China through Visual China channel, they may be regarded as infringement by Visual China, or even be held liable for commercial use.

Although Visual China subsequently changed the picture description to This picture is editorial, not for commercial use and labeled the source as the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the matter promptly triggered heated public debate, many people questioned that Visual China listed a publicly released photo as its own copyright, if it wanted to make it. Whether it is reasonable and legal to pay the fee to Visual China.

So, is it legal for Visual China to regard ESOs authorization as its copyright to sell this picture in China? Has Visual China contacted ESO for copyright transfer? Is ESO aware of this?

In response to the interview request of Daily Economic News, ESO made it clear that this copyright claim of Visual China is illegal. ESO has never, nor can it transfer the copyright of their pictures to any other person or organization. Visual China has never contacted ESO about black hole pictures. At least so far, no person claiming to be the representative of Visual China has contacted ESO.

The following is ESOs reply to Daily Economic News:

Our Copyright Regulations clearly stipulate that:

Unless otherwise specified, images, videos and music published on ESOs official website, as well as text of press releases, bulletins, blog articles and titles, are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and can be copied free of charge on a non-exclusive basis, provided that the source of the content is clearly identified and accessible to users. See.

However, if any unit or individual wants to use our material without paying for it, it must provide all users with complete images and sources in a clear and readable manner, and the wording of the sources can not be changed, such as ESO/Jos Francisco (josefrancisco.org). Sources should not be hidden or unrelated to images, and content must be accessible with links.

Except for media use, press releases, bulletins, weekly photo selection and annotations should all be signed ESO; ESO materials, images and videos should not be used to declare or imply endorsement of the product or service by ESO or any ESO staff; if the picture includes identifiable persons, the picture will not be allowed to be used for commercial purposes.

The same applies to the first black hole photograph we recently released in human history, which is copyrighted by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (hereinafter referred to as EHT). Our ESO belongs to EHT. Therefore, these pictures can be used free of charge, and they can also be used for commercial purposes as long as the source of the pictures is correctly described.

ESO has never, and cannot, transfer the copyright of our pictures to any other person or organization. It would be incorrect for Visual China to claim that they own the copyright of the black hole image and make profits by selling it.

So far, ESO has not received any requests from companies to transfer copyright. But we did receive questions from companies and individuals about possible restrictions on the use of black hole pictures, which they intend to use for a variety of purposes, ranging from the production of works of art sold for profitable student projects.

Visual China has never contacted us about black hole pictures, at least so far no self-proclaimed representative of Visual China has contacted us. But yesterday we did receive a question about the use of visual Chinese pictures. But it is the first time we have heard about the copyright claim of visual China.

Visual China has not asked us for authorization for black hole pictures. However, considering the copyright conditions of ESO images, Visual China can use these images without authorization as long as the source is specified. In other words, Visual China does not need to ask for authorization at all. Visual China regards the so-called authorization as the copyright that it can sell and profit from the picture in China, which is illegal. Visual China used this black hole image without prior notice to us, but this does not mean the transfer of copyright. Visual China, or any other company, can use this photo, and as long as the source of the picture is clearly stated, they can even use it for commercial purposes. However, because the copyright of the picture does not belong to them, they cannot sell the copyright of the picture. Source: Liable Editor of Daily Economic News: Liu Yuxin_NBJS7825

Visual China has not asked us for authorization for black hole pictures. However, considering the copyright conditions of ESO images, Visual China can use these images without authorization as long as the source is specified. In other words, Visual China does not need to ask for authorization at all.

Visual China regards the so-called authorization as the copyright that it can sell and profit from the picture in China, which is illegal. Visual China used this black hole image without prior notice to us, but this does not mean the transfer of copyright. Visual China, or any other company, can use this photo, and as long as the source of the picture is clearly stated, they can even use it for commercial purposes.

However, because the copyright of the picture does not belong to them, they cannot sell the copyright of the picture.