Ever share a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night? You just broke the law

The lights on the Eiffel Tower are an artistic work, according to the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.

Parisians can be super relaxed about drinking wine at midday — but take a photo of the Eiffel Tower after dark and all hell could break loose.

It turns out that sharing your own pictures of the iconic structure at night-time is a violation of the artist’s copyright.

Take a photo during daytime and no one will bat an eyelid, but problems arise at dusk when the Eiffel Tower lights are switched on.

According to Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, which manages the tower, the lights on the tower are an artistic work. This means that anyone who wants to photograph it after dark must get permission from them.

European copyright law says that it is illegal to distribute pictures of copyrighted works.

According to Snopes, pictures posted on social media can also count as distribution – which is where holidaymakers could get in trouble.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Sharing your photos of the tower in the daytime is completely legal.  (iStock)

The French courts have never ruled on this though, so it is possible that you would never be successfully sued if it came to the crunch.

Anyone taking a picture from the top of the tower is totally fine though. A message on the website reads: “The views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free.”

Post Author: James Bark

Leave a Reply