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Websites punished for spreading rumours about China blasts

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Beijing, China’s internet regulator shut down and revoked licenses of some websites, accusing them of spreading online rumors after massive explosions at a warehouse in China’s Tianjin city left 112 people dead.

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www.theguardian.com

In a statement released on late Saturday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) accused 50 websites of creating panic by publishing unverified information or letting users spread baseless rumors, reported Xin
hua news agency.

The information circulated on the websites included headlines such as: “the blasts killed at least 1,000 people”, “shopping malls in Tianjin looted” and “leadership change in Tianjin government”.

The CAC said such rumors caused negative influences. It shut down and revoked licenses of 18 websites, and suspended operation of another 32 websites.

The CAC said it would take a zero-tolerance attitude towards websites spreading rumors after major disasters.

Some 95 people, including 85 fire-fighters, went missing after Wednesday’s massive blasts

(IANS)

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Chinese Authorities Suspends Website for Black Hole Copyright: Report

Founded in June 2000, VCG had collected revenues to the tune of 700 million yuan ($104.18 million) in the first three quarters of 2018

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US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

Chinese authorities have suspended the website of the country’s largest stock images provider after it was found to have put its copyright mark on the first ever photo taken of a black hole, state-owned China Daily newspaper reported on Friday.

Visual China Group (VCG) has been alleged to have published with its watermark the black hole photo soon after it was released on Wednesday, leading the cyberspace affairs authority in Tianjin (north) to suspend its website, Efe news reported citing the daily.

The incident led to the National Copyright Administration in China announcing that it would launch a campaign to regulate the image copyright market, underlining that firms should set up mechanisms to uphold copyright as per legal requirements.

The copyright claim over a picture, which was released by Event Horizon Telescope and was not meant for commercial usage, meant that users downloading the image from VCG were required to pay for it.

All images provided by organizations like the European Southern Observatory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are available for free as long as users cite the source.

The photo of the black hole, located 53.3 million light years from the Earth and taken by the Event Horizon Telescope, also fell under this category.

Black Hole
An image of the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the sun.
VOA

The Chinese company issued a statement saying they had obtained the rights of the image for use in the media and not for commercial use such as advertisements.

However, ESO – which holds the rights over the image – has denied having received any message from VCG, and said it was illegal for the Chinese firm to ask money for the use of the photo.

The incident led to protests in social networks in the Asian country, some of them from other companies and organizations that found their own content on the VCG website.

Also Read- Collective Attention Span Among People Decreases Rapidly as of 24/7 News Availability

Moreover, the Communist Youth League Central Committee, on its official handle on Weibo – Chinese equivalent of Twitter – criticized VCG for making users pay for photographs of the national emblem on its website.

The authorities at Tianjin decided to suspend the website in the wake of the controversy, even though VCG released another statement with an apology and admitting that many of its images came from third parties without any ties to their company.

Founded in June 2000, VCG had collected revenues to the tune of 700 million yuan ($104.18 million) in the first three quarters of 2018. (IANS)