Bill Gates Sells Licensing Rights To Tiananmen Square Photos (Including the Iconic “Tank Man”) To The Chinese

Bill_Gates_June_2015130px-Mao_Zedong_portraitI have long admired Bill Gates for his incredible philanthropy around the world. It is for that reason that I was astonished by the news that Gates had sold the rights to a huge number of photos to the Visual China Group. The sale will now placed images from Tiananmen Square, including the iconic Tank Man photo, in the hands of the Chinese who hope to bury them and any memory of the uprising. The sale of Gates’ Corbis likely made a tidy profit but it is a political bonanza for the censors of the Chinese government.

Gates bought up the licensing rights to photographs and artwork to create special digital frames in people’s homes. That did not pan out so he ran a photo licensing service through Corbis.

Now a Chinese company can use copyright laws to curtail the reproduction of images of the protest and the massacre. While the images will still be available outside of China under an agreement with Getty, civil libertarians fear that China will use its new licensing power to snuff out visual records of the massacre.

China has long worked to wipe out any mention or record of its infamous 1989 crackdown. It is a curious move for someone who has spent so much to help others in the world. Clearly there were other buyers for these images or he could have at least removed those images from the sale. Instead, Gates must handed the repressive Chinese government control of records of its own infamous crimes.

As Joe Stalin predicted, “When we hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope we use.”

Kudos: Aidan Turley

16 thoughts on “Bill Gates Sells Licensing Rights To Tiananmen Square Photos (Including the Iconic “Tank Man”) To The Chinese

  1. Part of a trade for something he wanted more of???Like access.

    From: JONATHAN TURLEY To: jimkuden@sbcglobal.net Sent: Monday, January 25, 2016 9:12 PM Subject: [New post] Bill Gates Sells Licensing Rights To Tiananmen Square Photos (Including the Iconic “Tank Man”) To The Chinese #yiv7158376775 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7158376775 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7158376775 a.yiv7158376775primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7158376775 a.yiv7158376775primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7158376775 a.yiv7158376775primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7158376775 a.yiv7158376775primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7158376775 WordPress.com | jonathanturley posted: “I have long admired Bill Gates for his incredible philanthropy around the world. It is for that reason that I was astonished by the news that Gates had sold the rights to a huge number of photos to the Visual China Group. The sale will now placed images ” | |

  2. Why Can’t Bill Gates Be a Patriot?

    Sure, buying the rights to evidence of crimes against humanity and selling those rights to the criminals is pretty slimy, but why does China get all the slime? The USA has been very good to Mr. Gates, both financially and in neglecting his innumerable anti-trust issues.

    So where’s the love?

    Mr. Gates could be buying the rights to evidence of torture in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo. He could be protecting evidence of targeted (and not-so-targeted) assassinations or incinerated wedding parties. But is he? Nope.

    What kind of patriot protects the crimes of a foreign power while neglecting the copyright protection of war criminals here at home?

  3. Bill Gates is vile scum that does not have the interest of this republic at heart and I have said this long before this act.
    He donates quite a bit of money yes but he also funds the globalization of the world. He is working to implement a One World Govt. He also helped finance the creation of Common Core.

    Bill Gates is anything but a good American.

    this covers a little of it

  4. Bill Gats is a money hungry.(add your own term here). Those who insist on canonizing him for his allegedly philanthropic activities are deluded. He doesn’t do anything that won’t result is benefit to his won interests.

    Imagine selling the rights to these photos so that they can be destroyed or hidden from public view, just like it never happened. There is a similarity between the dictators all over the world and men like Gates that should chill us all.

  5. Bill Gates is a money hungry beast. He also just took the Chinese using their own paranoia. The Chinese now have the rights to photos that are pretty much part of the public domain. The Chinese cannot stop the copies of these photos being reproduced and used. If they file lawsuits it will only serve to bring attention to their shortcomings and resurrect the events in the minds of their cultural adversaries. It could be for some future statement that this stuff never happened and the copies of the photos circulating are staged-“Show us the originals.” It could be for their ownership of their history. They could very well cart out these images to illustrate how far China has progressed, from a time when this sort of stuff happened to whenever, when it hasn’t for some time. What it amounts to is Gates selling the Chinese evidence of their crimes against humanity, or not, well after the charges have been laid and the verdict given.

    If China does, someday, cart out these photos with some absorb rewriting of history, then we get to cr*p on them all over again.

    Turley loves to jab a nerve and it works every time. The malcontent come out from under the fridge along with all the conspiracy theories and enemies of the state scenarios. Gates is Gates, an astute businessman who just took the Chinese for a bundle.

    Look for the next surfacing of these photos in the more adventurous rags. There will be nary a mumble from the Chinese. They won’t protest too much.

    • issac – these photos are not in the public domain. They are subject to takedown orders. Right now there is a court having a fight over whether a chimp can own the rights to a selfie of itself. So far, it is going against the chimp. Microsoft own Corbis which owns the largest collections of photos in the world. With both the Chinese and Corbis fighting over the rights to the photos, this could be fun. Do you have to get rights from both to publish?

  6. Paul

    There is what goes on legally or as per the rights of this or that. Then there is what goes on illegally or regardless of the rights of this or that. Regarding the circus that is the media and media associated enterprises there will always be a rag that displays photos or smears someone and in doing so is subject to legal action. Typically what happens is the info gets out first and the louder the complaining by, in this case China, the more attention the info gets, in this case the activities represented in the photos. This is fact proven throughout history. There is also, more importantly, the world wide web. China will not be able to make these images disappear.

    In this specific instance, as included in the JT article, the images will be legally available to be posted, outside of China. This then points to an internal censoring and a very soft one at that. China is seeking to distance the availability of these images from its citizens. However, China will not be able to completely disconnect these images from its citizens. The Chinese travel. The internet is insidiously pervasive.

    China is playing a ‘layering by numbers’ action here. First they will remove the immediate or local access to these images and might even put accessing them on the bad side of legality. China already censors as it sees fit so this does relatively nothing more that what already exists. Then they might, a la North Korea, make stupid statements as to the veracity of the copies appearing in the West, where they are not illegal.

    In the end China continues to evolve Westward and us in the West continue to point out their faults. Historically speaking this is next to nothing, a fart in a snowstorm. As for a business coup, Gates made one; how large depends on how much he got. There is really nothing here except righteous indignation concerning something that is none of our business and over which no one except the Chinese have any control. It might be a good thing. It might slow down the transition that is already going on, allowing it to suffer less casualties, case in point, the actions illustrated in said photos.

    After all show me a country that hasn’t rewritten history and taught the lies to its people and I’ll show you a country where no one knows how to read or write.

  7. This is abuse of the power of government against the people – in America anyway. As but one example, this is akin to the collectivist redistributionist Obama gaining control of Lois “I’ll-Take-The-5th” Lerner and the IRS to use as weapons against the recent “Tea Party” and conservatives in an election.

    Mr. Gates’ usefulness has ended.

    His sole talent was software and his singular, primal motivation is exposed as greed.

  8. Bill Gates does have some very savvy PR people working for him who have managed to convince a number of dupes, dopes, and fools into believing that Gate is a “humanitarian” and a “philanthropist.” True, he does a lot of funding of various enterprises, but NONE benefit humanity in any shape or form. Just the opposite. So, of course, I’m not surprised in the slightest by this article, nor that JT was so easily fooled by Gates’ PR efforts.

  9. And it should go without saying that Warren Buffett is no “humanitarian” or “philanthropist” either. That’s just more PR con for dupes, dopes, and fools. In fact, Buffett still owes back taxes and penalties or more than $1 billion to the IRS, but with his money and army of lawyers and accountants, he’s untouchable. But he’s a fraud like Gates. Don’t believe the bull about either of these con artists.

  10. I once respected Bill Gates, ~15 years ago, and when I did a little investigating of the Gates Foundation, which is a population control group, and saw what they did I hated Billy from that point on.

    This is a 3 min video but because of the ravages of ADHD you can start at the 2:00 mark. Vaccines are used to help reduce the world population according to Billy boy.

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