Because of the storm of voluntary closure of websites to carry out rectification, Visual China may face a greater risk of unilateral cessation of services, users of pictures that have signed with them can initiate lawsuits according to the agreement to demand that they be found to be in breach of contract.
At 3 a.m. on April 12, in the copyright disturbance caused by black hole photos, the shutdown of visual China was considered by public opinion as an attempt to draw a pause for the incident. However, legal experts pointed out that there was a great legal risk. According to the general photo service agreement, visual Chinas action had constituted a breach of contract, and the users of the pictures with which it signed the agreement could initiate lawsuits according to the contract.
A reporter from China Business Daily noticed that media colleagues said Tuesday that due to the closure of Visual Chinas website, the media in which it works could not download and distribute pictures properly, and had to temporarily find new photo service providers, which would bring new expenditures and affect the normal media acquisition and editing process.
According to the general image service protocol template, as a service provider, only in the event of force majeure such as war, flood, earthquake and so on, its behavior of stopping service can be accepted by the agreement. Obviously, voluntary shutdown without mutual agreement is not included in this list. Therefore, the parties concerned can initiate litigation according to the agreement.
To alter a contract without the consent of the other party and fail to perform the obligations stipulated in the contract is an act of breach of contract and requires legal liability. Visual Chinas sudden closure of its website, resulting in its contracting agencies unable to obtain pictures, and did not inform the agency in advance, nor without the agencys consent, then this action is suspected of constituting a breach of contract. Xu Hao, a lawyer at Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, told China Business News that the parties concerned could initiate lawsuits according to the agreement to demand that their shutdown act be found to be in breach of contract.
This storm was triggered by the fact that visual China listed the first black hole photo of human beings as its copyright scope. Then, the resentment of long-term gathering broke out instantaneously. The public also pointed out that visual China listed the national flag, national emblem and other pictures as its copyright content, besides the criticism, its banter became a momentary upsurge.
A certified netizen @ commentator article pointed out on the night of April 11 said that in 2015, the Supreme Peoples Court issued the Supreme Courts Annual Report on Intellectual Property Rights Cases in 2014. After the publication of the Visual China Group and Zhenglin Company Copyright Infringement Dispute Case as a typical copyright case, Visual China is thrilled with great wealth. Why do you say so? Because in this judgment, the Supreme Court said that as long as there is a watermarking of the company concerned with Visual China in the photo, it will acquiesce in the photo of Visual China unless there is evidence to the contrary - the problem is that it is not the general network of the national flag and emblem, who knows who the real copyright owner is, or even if it is Visual China? Be obedient.
The content of the judgment mentioned by the netizen is still in existence on the official website of Visual China. Some media people pointed out that this heated discussion is not only because of the boundary and way of copyright protection, but also because some photo agencies have evolved copyright protection into a kind of setting up bureaus and fishing. Behind it, there is no lack of support from the judicial stakeholders.
Source: Qiao Junjie_NBJ11279, responsible editor of China Business Newspaper