From ShanghaiDaily.com, China is announcing new regulations requiring:
Any overseas institute or individual who intends on surveying or drawing the country’s territory has to first receive permissions from mapping authorities under China’s State Council and armed forces, according to the country’s mapping law.
Those who ignore the law and collect, process and distribute the country’s geographical information without authorization will be severely punished, the law states. Taking the information abroad or broadcasting it on any Website is also forbidden.
According to the story, some “illegal” maps have caused a negative impact on the political relations between China and some other countries. So, are they referring to recent photos like those listed below as the reason for these new proposed regulations? What are the implications of this to Google Earth? Are they going to tell Google they have to get permission for photos already in the public domain, if the photos are of China, or face severe legal and financial penalties?