On the same day, the Tianjin Internet Information Office interviewed the Visual China website according to law and ordered the website to stop illegal acts immediately and completely rectify them. In response, Visual China once again issued an apology letter saying that it voluntarily closed its website to carry out rectification and voluntarily accepted the treatment of Tianjin Internet Information Office in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
It is worth mentioning that the outbreak of copyright disputes in visual China is quite delicate. On April 12, Visual China will usher in the lifting of the ban on over 10 billion restricted shares. At the opening of the 12th trading day, Visual China closed down and stopped, sealing orders exceeding 400,000 hands, offering a price of 25.20 yuan per share.
Visual China was interviewed after the station rectification
According to Tianjin. com, on April 11, the Tianjin Internet Information Office interviewed the person in charge of the website in accordance with the law, ordering the website to stop the illegal activities immediately and completely rectify the situation of disseminating illegal and harmful information on visual Chinese websites.
Photo Source: Netcom Tianjin Wechat Public Number
The head of Visual China Website said that there were serious problems in the management of the platform, and it would be completely rectified. During this period, the website would be temporarily closed down, strictly abide by relevant laws and regulations, and consciously accept the supervision of the society and netizens.
Photo Source: Microblog Visual Chinese Images
On the morning of December 12, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) responded to the media saying that this copyright claim of Visual China was illegal. ESOs have never, nor can they transfer the copyright of their pictures to any other person or organization, and Visual China has never contacted ESOs about black hole pictures.
Ten hot searches in 24 hours
China-Singapore Jingwei noted that in the past 24 hours, there have been a total of # Visual China can not predict the recovery time,
On July 3, 2018, Zhang Ying, founding managing partner of Jingwei China, disclosed on Weibo that Visual China had developed a system in 2016, and began to demand huge compensation from enterprises that had not authorized the negligence of using their pictures in an organized and large scale. The price was as high as hundreds of thousands, and they did not accept deletion. They threatened enterprises to sign annual contracts and earned a lot of money. Zhang Ying questioned this overwhelming business model and wrote at the end of the article, Wait, one day...
Unexpectedly, Zhang Yings prophecy became a prophecy. In less than a year, Visual China has fallen into a black hole of copyright, and its various rights protection routines have aroused wide doubts.
The controversy stems from the copyright labeling of a photo in Visual China. On the evening of April 10, Beijing Time, the first black hole photograph was released. Later, however, some netizens found that on the Visual China website, the black hole photo was labeled CopyRight owned by Visual China.
In response, the Visual China Image Officer micro-released a statement saying that black hole photos belong to Event Horizon Telescope, and Visual China obtains authorization for editing through its partners. This photo authorization is not exclusive, and other media and photo agencies have also been authorized. However, the picture can only be used for news editing and dissemination according to the copyright owners requirements, and can not be used as a commercial category without permission. Commercial use generally includes advertisements, promotions and other use scenarios. Visual China does not have the right to commercial use of the picture. If it is used for commercial purposes without authorization of the copyright owner, there may be risks.
However, doubts did not stop. Netizens also found that photographs such as the national flag and emblem were also marked with copyright in visual China. The central official of the Communist Youth League called the name of Visual China directly and asked, Is the copyright of the national flag and emblem also yours?
Photo Source: Screenshots of Weibo
In the above-mentioned micro-blog commentary area of the Communist Youth League Central Committee, Haier, 360 cleaning masters, Nanjing Suning and other enterprises have followed up and posted photos related to their own enterprises.
In response to the sale of flag and emblem pictures, on the evening of November 11, Visual China issued an apology statement through its official microblog, and offline processing of relevant pictures. Statement @Communist Youth League Central Committee said, Visual China website about the national flag, national emblem and other irregular pictures reported by netizens, after checking the picture provided by Visual China Contractors, Visual China as a platform bears the responsibility of lax audit, for which we apologize! We have offline processing of non-conforming pictures, and will continue to strengthen the audit according to relevant laws and regulations, to avoid. Avoid similar situations. Thank you for your supervision!
At about 20 pm on the 11th, the Visual China website could not be opened.
Visual China involves more than 10,000 lawsuits
After the outbreak of the copyright controversy, the business model of visual China in pursuit of short-term profits and rights protection has been questioned.
According to media reports, more and more enterprises have received inquiries or lawyer letters from Visual China, and have been told that they are suspected of photo infringement and face compensation up to tens of thousands of yuan for each picture. However, Visual China does not pursue direct award of compensation, mainly for the purpose of converting rights protection into sales and transferring the defendant to an exclusive client.
Some insiders pointed out that the mode of safeguarding rights and gaining customers, safeguarding rights and generating income essentially sacrificed the interests of the real right holders (photographers) to maximize the interests of the gallery. Simply put, Visual China will turn the infringement rights of real rights holders (photographers) into the exclusive annual contract of its platform.
According to Qixinbao data, there are 147 litigation disputes involving Visual China Cultural Development Co., Ltd., the main company of Visual China. The majority of cases are disputes about infringement of the right to disseminate works on the Internet.
But thats far from all. Sino-Singapore Jingwei noted that Visual China and its subsidiaries have involved more than 10,000 lawsuits.
According to Qixinbao data, Hanhua Yimei (Tianjin) Image Technology Co., Ltd., which is indirectly wholly owned by Visual (China) Cultural Development Co., Ltd., has involved 3952 litigation disputes. Among the 3952 lawsuits, as the plaintiff, the company has 1633 cases related to intellectual property rights infringement disputes.
In addition, Huagai Creative (Beijing) Image Technology Co., Ltd., which is indirectly and wholly owned by Visual (China) Cultural Development Co., Ltd., has involved 7071 litigation disputes.
Visual Chinas 2018 quarterly report shows that in the first three quarters of 2018, the companys business income at the merger level reached 701 million yuan, an increase of 20.97% over the same period in 2017, and a net profit of 220 million yuan, an increase of 35.31% over the same period in 2017.
Among them, visual content and service, the core business of listed companies, accounting for 81.81% of the total revenue, achieved 573 million yuan, an increase of 34.48% and a net profit of 223 million yuan, an increase of 43.74% over the same period in 2017.
Prior to that, Visual China had said that most clients would settle with them before the lawsuit judgment and become long-term cooperative customers, and the final amount of effective judgment through court proceedings would not exceed 0.1%.
Whats wrong with Visual China?
On the evening of April 11, in response to the disturbance of copyright labeling of visual Chinese pictures, official microblogs such as Peoples Daily and Xinhua Net made comments.
Peoples Daily said that when copyright protection reached consensus, no one denied that photographic works had copyright. The question is whether copyright is really established? Does the platform purify the copyright pool? Can the business model withstand scrutiny? Avoiding copyright protection falling into a black hole is as important as advocating copyright payment.
Xinhua commented that a company that claims to be good at copyright protection, but even the national flag and emblem are clearly marked and corrected until the public finds out, is it negligence or ignorance? It can not be simply put off without strict review. The protection of copyright is a social consensus, but we can not abuse copyright for the sake of interests, in the name of copyright, to seek the truth of interests.
So, in addition to the above questions about its rights and income generation, what is the mistake of visual China in the copyright of pictures?
As can be seen from the statements made by Visual China and the European Southern Observatory, Visual China is not qualified to distribute black hole photographs for commercial and editorial purposes.
And for many companies questioning their own logo, corporate executives and other pictures, does Visual China really own their copyright?
In an interview with Sino-Singapore Jingwei, Fang Chaoqiang, a lawyer at Beijing Yingke (Hangzhou) Law Firm, said that as far as the photos themselves are concerned, these logo photos or photos of executives of enterprises are copyright works. As long as they were originally created by Visual China or authorized by copyright owners to Visual China legally, Visual China has the right to license these photos to third parties for commercial use in the field of copyright.
However, if these copyright works contain business information of third-party enterprises, such as logo and enterprise name. Authorized persons should not only be authorized by Visual China, but also be authorized by enterprises involved in the pictures when using these pictures commercially. Of course, the companies involved in the pictures should also be authorized to use these pictures in Visual China. Fang Chaoqiang said.
Li Junhui, a special researcher at the Intellectual Property Law Research Center of China University of Political Science and Law, also said to Sino-Singapore Jingwei that for pictures of logos and executives of enterprises, if they are photographic works, their copyright is generally enjoyed by the photographers, but the exercise of copyright can not impair the legitimate rights and interests of the original owners, such as enterprises or executives themselves.
As a result, visual China has a lot of problems in image auditing and copyright information description. Photos that have not been authorized by relevant enterprises or people should not be used for commercial purposes for sale. Similarly, Visual China has not made any specific request to the contracted photographers to take the above photos.
China-Singapore Jingwei noted that on the morning of December 12th, the State Copyright Administration issued a notice saying that recently, the copyright issue of black hole pictures has aroused concern. The State Copyright Administration attaches great importance to the copyright protection of pictures and safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of copyright owners according to law. All photo companies should improve copyright management mechanism, standardize copyright operation, legitimately and reasonably safeguard their rights, and should not abuse their rights. The State Copyright Administration will incorporate the copyright protection of pictures into the upcoming Sword Net 2019 special action to further standardize the copyright order of the picture market. On the morning of December 12th, after the closure of Visual China and Panoramic Network, the Oriental IC website could not be opened. However, according to media reports, Panoramic Web Customer Service said that the website is being maintained technically, users who have purchased pictures can not download normally for the time being, and it is expected to be restored within today. Source: Sino-New Zealand Longitudinal and Weft Author: Chang Tao Responsible Editor: Su Honghong_NBJ9980
China-Singapore Jingwei noted that on the morning of December 12th, the State Copyright Administration issued a notice saying that recently, the copyright issue of black hole pictures has aroused concern. The State Copyright Administration attaches great importance to the copyright protection of pictures and safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of copyright owners according to law. All photo companies should improve copyright management mechanism, standardize copyright operation, legitimately and reasonably safeguard their rights, and should not abuse their rights. The State Copyright Administration will incorporate the copyright protection of pictures into the upcoming Sword Net 2019 special action to further standardize the copyright order of the picture market.
On the morning of December 12th, after the closure of Visual China and Panoramic Network, the Oriental IC website could not be opened.
However, according to media reports, Panoramic Web Customer Service said that the website is being maintained technically, users who have purchased pictures can not download normally for the time being, and it is expected to be restored within today.