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It’s illegal to click photos of Eiffel Tower at night and here’s why

Overflowing with culture, history, and fashion, the glamorous city of Paris is one of the most visited destinations in the world and definitely needs no introduction. So, like many other travellers, you are in Paris spending some romantic time with your loved one.

You then head to the impressive structure of Eiffel Tower and start clicking photos of the Eiffel Tower dazzling in the night. Proud of your photography skills, you open your social media and start uploading the photos. Stop right there.

What you are doing is totally illegal!

While this might seem like an urban legend, it is actually not. Night photos of Eiffel Tower are copyrighted and at the event of you sharing the photos on social media, you might be fined or sued.

Related: 12 must dos on a Paris honeymoon other than the Eiffel tower

Why is it illegal?

Constructed in 1889, Eiffel Tower comes under public domain and you are free to click how many ever photos of the Eiffel Tower you want in the morning. But the light show added to the building in 1995 is considered an artistic display and technically the copyright belongs to the artist. So sharing the night images of Eiffel Tower without the permission of the artist is a violation of the French Law.

Related: Top 10 things to do around the Eiffel Tower that are not to be missed!

According to the EU’s 2001 copyright directive article 5, clicking photographs of architectural works in public spaces is totally allowed and can be published or distributed without any prior permission. But here’s the catch. The EU directive is optional and France has already opted out of the directive.

Eiffel Tower is now under the management of Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel and the organization considers the light show to be an artistic work and is separate from the Eiffel Tower. So, if you click photos of Eiffel Tower in the night and share it on your social media without proper permission, then you are answerable to Société d’Exploitation de la Tour. FYI, you can find this under the FAQ section displayed on the website.

Surprisingly, no one has been fined or arrested until now with regards to the issue. Because honestly, there are over a million photographs of Eiffel Tower taken in the night and enforcing a copyright infringement case on so many tourists is impractical.

So, go ahead. Click a dozen photographs of the Eiffel Tower in the night and share them on your Instagram.

Wait, we didn’t tell that.

*Flashlight!* (hides neuralyzer)

Actually scared to take photos? Here’s where you can go instead to click some amazing pictures for your Instagram.


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