shut down after the company was caught claiming copyright over the most iconic image of the year.he website of China’s largest provider of stock photos has been
Earlier this week, Visual China Group (VCG), a Beijing-based photo agency that partners with Getty Images, was found to be offering the world’s first image of a black hole for sale on its website, stating that users needed to contact VCG for commercial use rights on the photo which was shown with the company’s logo overlayed on top.
Netizens quickly questioned how VCG had come into ownership of the photo which was produced by a team of 200 scientists based on observations made through the Event Horizon Telescope and then distributed for free on the website of the European Southern Observatory.
Soon, more questionable copyright claims turned up, including VCG offering images of China’s national emblem and flag for sale, charging 1,000 yuan ($150) for using the emblem on a magazine cover.
On Friday, internet regulators in Tianjin ordered VCG to temporarily shut down its website while amending its practices and tightening its management. The company has responded with a public apology, blaming the incidents on poor oversight of third-party contributors and promising to rectify its problems and strengthen its management.