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Crazy: It's actually illegal to take a picture of Eiffel Tower at night

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

You can take as many pictures of the famous Tour during the daytime. But at night, the Eiffel tour is illuminated in a dazzling light display - which is actually copyrighted.


Due to this copyright, taking pictures of the Eiffel Tour that also include this light display are actually illegal.


According to Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which manages the historic landmark, the lights are a protected piece of French art.


Anyone seeking to use the images of the Eiffel Tour at night - even on personal social media account - must technically seek permission to use them, or seek steep fines under European copyright law. This law has never been enforced, however, and there appears little chance of that changing anytime soon.


The lights were added in 1985 by French artist Pierre Bideau. Since copyright claims in Europe are protected for 70 years, it'll be decades before sharing pictures of the light display online are not in legal jeopardy.


People who make it to the top of the landmark can breath a sign of relief as they snap a picture of the city, as a sign reads "The views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free."




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