Chinese Company Now Owns Rights to Iconic Tiananmen Square Photos

When I read this, I thought it must have been an Onion article, but apparently not. Bill Gates recently sold the rights to countless images, including dozens of images from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre to a Chinese company, Visual China Group.

“The transaction strengthens our dominant position in China’s image industry, enhances our core competence in the global high-end image market, and marks a significant milestone on our journey of globalization,” said Amy Jun Liang, CEO of Visual China Group.

But what does this actually mean for the images and their use? Will the images become harder to access?

Inside China, the photos are already heavily censored, so I don’t see a reason why there would be any changes.

Outside of China, the images will not be hard to find. Thanks to the Internet, images like “Tank Man” are easy to find. However, they might become more difficult for use in comerical projects, such as films. Would that mean that China would be enforcing its oppressive censorship on the world?

What do you think?