The Eiffel Tower


Watch out after dark, at least if you are in Paris. Apparently, it is illegal to publish photos of the Eiffel Tower taken after dark without permission. Given the prevalence of photo books and other similar products this restriction seems extreme, but it exists nonetheless.

Apparently, in 2003 SNTE, which manages the tower, changed the lighting and then copyrighted the resulting image. SNTE was able to do this because French courts have upheld copyright based on the specific lighting.  I doubt this trick would hold up in the U.S., but then the Eiffel Tower isn’t in the U.S.

For more details on this restriction see Eiffel Tower (Wikipedia)Eiffel Tower Repossessed, and Image Rights/The Eiffel Tower Brand.

The photo used to illustrate this article was taken in Las Vegas, so I’m not violating any laws.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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3 Responses to The Eiffel Tower

  1. Midge Gravelese says:

    There is always the one in Vegas, from the right angle, it might look the same.

  2. Jennings Family says:

    I don’€™t know where you got this information but I was just there and there were hundreds of thousands of people taking photographs of the Eiffel tower

    Myself included

    Marianne Jennings

    • Mark Mizen says:

      The issue is not with taking photos but with publishing them, which potentially includes photo books and other products. The links within my article give additional information on this restriction.

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