Are the Eiffel Tower lights copyrighted

That is why it is forbidden to photograph the Eiffel Tower at night

If you are going to Paris, a visit to or on top of the Eiffel Tower is an absolute must. After all, the building is one of the city's most popular attractions. But if you take a photo of the landmark at night, it can be expensive and you will even make yourself liable to prosecution.

You take a walk through the streets in the city of love and pass the illuminated Eiffel Tower - of course you want to capture the highlight and take a photo of the landmark with your digicam or smartphone. Because for that you will definitely get a few likes on Instagram. But the click of the shutter button can actually get really expensive.

That is the reason for the photo ban at the Eiffel Tower

Photographing the Eiffel Tower is not welcome at night. Because a lighting company pretty much spoils the fun for tourists: The company has secured the copyrights to the illuminated Eiffel Tower. So if you don't have a permit, you may take photos - but the pictures may not be published.

iStock / dennisvdw

The lighting of the landmark is protected

“Taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower is royalty-free. For pictures of the illuminated Eiffel Tower, however, permits and rights must be obtained from the "Société d’Exploitation de la tour Eiffel", "says the Eiffel Tower's website. So it's not about the building itself, but only about the lighting, to which the copyright applies. So taking photos during the day is not a problem.

Actually there is freedom of panorama. This means that public buildings - including sights - can be photographed. In a few EU countries, including France, copyright is considered higher, where freedom of panorama does not necessarily apply - this also applies to the Eiffel Tower.


Is a photo prohibited on Instagram?

And what happens if you take a photo anyway? Probably nothing at all! Because it would be far too expensive to control all the people who take a snapshot of the Eiffel Tower at night. If you really want to post a photo of the landmark with the lighting, you should definitely add the note “copyright Tour Eiffel - illuminations Pierre Bideau” on Instagram.