Shared a Night-Time Photo Of The Eiffel Tower? You Are Breaking The Law

Nov 8, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Shared a Night-Time Photo Of The Eiffel Tower? You Are Breaking The Law

Nov 8, 2014

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Eiffel_Tower_by_the_Seine_river,_Paris,_2_March_2014

One of the most iconic places to visit in France (and in Paris in particular) is the Eiffel tower. And while anyone is free to take its photos by day or night, sharing a photo of the light-show that the tower is engulfed in is pretty much infringing on the copyright of the show.

torrentfreak aims a spot light on this weird copyright situation by explaining that some architecture and some landmarks are copyrighted.

Actually, the Eiffel tower official website states this pretty clearly:

The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, falls within the public domain.

Daytime views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free.

However, its various illuminations are subject to author’s rights as well as brand rights. Usage of these images is subject to prior request from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel” (the Eiffel Tower’s operating company, or SETE).

Yup, no sharing. Not even for your wedding album. Not even for social sharing, and definitely not for Instagram.

Of course you can go around this and shoot photos of the tower at night while it is not illuminated and have a 100% black post card of your visit to the Eiffel Tower.

So next you see a newlywed couple taking a night photo next to the tower, you know what to do.

[torrentfreak via gizmodo, image via wikipedia]

P.S. Some of the cities are nicer about their landmarks, Las Vegas for example has no copyright whatsoever on their famous sign.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (wikipedia)
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (wikipedia)

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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27 responses to “Shared a Night-Time Photo Of The Eiffel Tower? You Are Breaking The Law”

  1. CJ Jacobs Avatar
    CJ Jacobs

    What’s with all the typos? Do you guys not proofread before posting?

    1. designwallah Avatar
      designwallah

      It seems to be happening more often and very few people care.

    2. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      Actually, we do. Let us know where we blew it and will make you happy.

      1. Rikki Avatar
        Rikki

        “A photos” used in the title and somewhere in the body. This is very basic really. (In case you didn’t know, it should be “a photo”)

        1. udi tirosh Avatar
          udi tirosh

          ouch! how embarassing, you are totally right, fixed those.

  2. John-Paul Danko Avatar
    John-Paul Danko

    Dusk shot – l like to live dangerously.

    1. Azety Photographe Avatar
      Azety Photographe
    2. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      please be careful dear, we want you back!

  3. Martin Avatar
    Martin

    So, this is not really a news, and I think we had it on here before.

  4. Andrew Sible Avatar
    Andrew Sible

    So who will sue me?

  5. Charles O. Slavens Avatar
    Charles O. Slavens

    I’m thinking the publicity might be worth it.

  6. we11ington Avatar
    we11ington

    Mildly disappointing that you would even bother writing such a non-story. Even in France such pictures would be un-copyrightable. please check your facts.

    1. ted Avatar
      ted

      what do you mean? It is true that’s the lights show on the eiffel tower is under copyright. It’s also forbidden to take people you don’t know in picture. Most tourists doesn’t know that. They like to life dangerously it seems ;)

      1. udi tirosh Avatar
        udi tirosh

        It almost feels like wet should run an ‘all the places you can’t photograp’ piece…

  7. ted Avatar
    ted

    The pyramid of the Louvre, one of the most taken pictures is also protected by copyright :(

  8. Michael Miller Avatar
    Michael Miller

    PS… Las Vegas has not copyright… Silly typos

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      this is just getting more embarrassing by the minute….

      thanks for the hep here.

      1. Rievone Avatar
        Rievone

        *help.

        Haha :)

        1. udi tirosh Avatar
          udi tirosh

          /passes editor job to monkey who sits close by

  9. MikeDF Avatar
    MikeDF

    I can’t believe the nit picking with the typos. I suspect there are some ironic ones in the posts below. Just for the record (now we have started) “sharing a photo of the light-how that the tower” should probably read “sharing a photo of the light-show that the tower”. Keep up the great work, typos anal (sic)

  10. JOhn C Avatar
    JOhn C

    I’d be curious if it really is copyright infringement. As you are taking a still of the tower, you are not recording “the show”. I am not familiar with this show, but if at one point it is simply bathed in blue, I doubt they really can’t defend a copyright of blue light. In that case making a video would capture the sequences of color would be an issue. Now if it’s like the light show at Disneyworld, where they actually project images on it, then I could see that being an issue.

    1. Cedric Avatar
      Cedric

      It comes to the same point that taking pictures during a concert, you are not recording the music but still you can’t use the picture without permission.

  11. JOhn C Avatar
    JOhn C

    It also says you may not publicly use the photos, so that newlywed couple taking a picture will be fine, as long as they keep it off Facebook and in their personal photo album (if anyone still has those) or on their shelf (which I wouldn’t believe would be public use).

  12. tonyc0101 Avatar
    tonyc0101

    I’ve heard that this was also the case with the Sydney Opera House…that someone who takes a picture of their building at night for commercial use (without prior approval) is infringing because they own the rights to their lighting.

  13. derek byrne Avatar
    derek byrne

    Watch out the buggers will ping you for trying to sell a Night Image of the Eiffel Tower. Few years back they discovered this little Australian website could RedBubble and sent take down notices.

    Legally for me to sell images from a National Park which is close to where I shot frogs requires a permit. That’s just on the odd chance I can sell the image.

  14. Sean Avatar
    Sean

    Do we need any more reasons to dislike the French?

    1. Cedric Avatar
      Cedric

      Try to make a picture using a tripod inside Central Station in NY and let’s see what will happen … at least in Paris you are allowed to take the picture, just not to share or sell it.