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    Eiffel Tower at night : photos, light show and glitter

    Dusk transforms the Eiffel Tower! In this article we offer you a unique immersion into everything related to the Eiffel Tower...

    Everything you need to know about the Eiffel Tower at night


    Thursday 9 April 2020

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    Dusk transforms the Eiffel Tower! In this article we offer you a unique immersion into everything related to the Eiffel Tower at nighttime: lighting, image rights, tour experience, and more.

    When the sun sets and darkness falls over Paris, the City of Lights awakens. And so does the Eiffel Tower! It switches on its lights. It shines, it sparkles, and it can be seen from dozens of miles away. The Iron Lady puts on her most beautiful golden gown and sparks the entire world’s imagination. We've assembled your most frequently asked questions and answered them here. You’ll know all there is to know about Eiffel Tower after dark!

    The Tower’s lights and sparkles

    The Iron Lady first donned her golden raiment on 31 December 1985, and it was an instant success. The 336 yellow-orange spotlights it encompasses are integrated into the structure itself and serve two purposes: they highlight the Eiffel Tower’s elegant structure and ensure its safe night-time operation.

    Previously, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated by many more external projectors. It has always been lit up after dark, by gas lighting before electricity took over.

    When are the lights and sparkles turned on?

    The projectors are triggered automatically by nightfall sensors. The sparkling lights are superimposed over the golden lights for 5 minutes at the beginning of each hour until 1 am.

    A note to you night owls: the last sparkling lights at 1 am have a special little feature, the golden lights go out and the Tower is left only to sparkles for 10 minutes!

    How much energy do all these lights consume?

    In 2004, the Tower took control of its ecological footprint by reducing the electrical consumption of its spotlights by 40% while preserving the beauty of its illuminations. Three years later, the lighting was renewed to the same specifications.

    Is it illegal to photograph the Tower at night? 

    Photographing the Eiffel Tower at night is not illegal at all. Any individual can take photos and share them on social networks.

    But the situation is different for professionals. The Eiffel Tower’s lighting and sparkling lights are protected by copyright, so professional use of images of the Eiffel Tower at night require prior authorization and may be subject to a fee. Professionals should therefore contact the Eiffel Tower's management company to learn about conditions for using the images depending on the case.

    © SETE / Bertrand Kulik / Ruggieri

    © Mairie de Paris - H.Garat_2

    © Huart / Coudeville

    © Pierre Nicou

    © Sophie Robichon

    © Christian BAMALE

    © Mairie de Paris - S.Robichon

    © Mairie de Paris - H.Garat

    © SETE - E.Livinec

    © Huart / Coudeville

    Source : www.toureiffel.paris

    Why It’s Illegal to Take Pictures of the Eiffel Tower at Night

    Did you know that it is actually illegal to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night? Find out why here.


    Why It’s Illegal to Take Pictures of the Eiffel Tower at Night

    Photos of the Eiffel Tower by day are free to take and post – it's a different story at night | © Markus Mainka / Alamy

    Jade Cuttle 17 March 2021

    The Eiffel Tower is so famous that it has become not only a symbol of Paris but the whole of France. It never fails to impress, especially when its 20,000 light bulbs are illuminated. But did you know that you could be breaking French law by publishing your photos of it? Read on to find out why many people think that it is illegal to take a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night.

    Originally built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution in 1889, this epic monument consistently attracts nearly 7m visitors from across the globe each year, who come to see the tower and take photos.

    You’ll find its image in countless guidebooks, online articles and breathtaking Instagram snaps. However, what you probably don’t notice is that media outlets rarely release photos of the tower at night.

    The Eiffel Tower dominates the Paris skyline | © RossHelen editorial / Alamy Stock Photo

    The lights on the Eiffel Tower complicate the copyright

    The ban comes down to French copyright law, which gives the original creator of an object exclusive rights to its sale and distribution. Buildings are classified with the same rigour as the artistic works that you would find in a museum.

    In the European Union, copyright law holds for 70 years after the creator has passed away. Some countries are more lenient, such as Pakistan, where copyright law holds for 50 years; in other places, it’s longer – for example, 95 years in Jamaica.

    Eiffel, who held the copyright for the tower, died in 1923, meaning it ran out 70 years later, in 1993. At this point, the likeness and design of the tower were allowed to enter the public domain, hence why you can find a replica, built in 1999, in Las Vegas.

    However, the lights on the Eiffel Tower were installed in 1985, by Pierre Bideau, meaning that any photo or video that shows the monument at a time when the lights are visible (ie, at night) is a violation of copyright law.

    There’s no general freedom of panorama in France, so a photo of the illuminated Eiffel Tower can be published only with permission.

    The copyright for the Eiffel Tower itself expired in 1993 | © Roland Nagy / Alamy Stock Photo

    What is freedom of panorama?

    Freedom of panorama allows photographers to capture buildings, artworks, sculptures, paintings or monuments in public spaces, even when they are still under copyright. Since 7 October 2016, limited freedom of panorama for works of architecture and sculpture has been put in place in France.

    French law now authorises “reproductions and representations of works of architecture and sculpture, placed permanently in public places (voie publique), and created by natural persons, with the exception of any usage of a commercial character”.

    This law means tourists are allowed to take photos and videos of copyrighted buildings for personal use, as long as there is no commercial benefit attached.

    The twin spires of Notre-Dame Cathedral, seen in the distance, are another famous landmark in Paris | © Anna Berkut / Alamy Stock Photo

    What are the implications of the rule?

    The rule has the most impact on professional photographers hoping to sell pictures, but the law also applies to any traveller and their innocent holiday snaps. Anything shared on social-media platforms is considered to be distribution.

    If you take pictures of French buildings or public art, and they become available in France, for example, after uploading them to social media or a blog, then a French court could claim jurisdiction. In theory, people who violate this law can face a fine.

    This is even the case if you are a resident in a country, such as the UK, where the freedom of panorama applies – it is still possible to be sued in the UK under French law.

    The Eiffel Tower seen from the Place de la Concorde | © nik wheeler / Alamy Stock Photo

    Other landmarks in Europe are under similar laws

    The protection of the architectural design of buildings is a growing trend, with other major landmarks in Europe under similar laws. In neighbouring Belgium, the Atomium sculpture, an iconic Brussels landmark, is fiercely protected by copyright.

    In Copenhagen, permission is needed to publish pictures of the famous Little Mermaid statue, while in Strasbourg, the European Parliament is under protection. There are also limited permissions surrounding the 2,000-year-old Colosseum in Rome.

    Source : theculturetrip.com

    FACT CHECK: Is It Illegal to Take Photographs of the Eiffel Tower at Night?

    It has all the makings of an urban legend, but this one is actually true — although it is virtually impossible to enforce.

    Is it Illegal to Take Photographs of the Eiffel Tower at Night?

    Is it Illegal to Take Photographs of the Eiffel Tower at Night? As is often the case, a little bit of factual information is spun into something much more sensational.

    Stephanie Larsen

    Published 13 March 2017


    It is illegal to take photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night without explicit permission.


    Mixture About this rating


    Imagine: You fulfill a lifelong dream and at long last manage to make that romantic trip to Paris. During your weeklong stay, you photograph the Eiffel Tower from every angle and at nearly every hour of the day and night. When you get home, you naturally post your favorite photographs to social media.

    A month or so later, you get hit with a cease-and-desist letter. Nighttime photographs of the Eiffel Tower are copyrighted and you could be fined or sued, you’re told.

    How could this possibly be true?

    As it turns out, it technically is true. Distributing photographs of the night-lit Eiffel Tower is a violation of the artist’s copyright.

    To clarify, the Eiffel Tower itself, constructed in 1889, is in the public domain. Tourists can click away all they want during the daytime. However, the light show, added in 1985, is considered an artistic display and is indeed protected by copyright. But because the lighting is attached to the Eiffel Tower — and since any photographs of the Eiffel Tower taken at night aren’t likely to be terribly interesting without the lights, the practical effect is that nighttime images of the Eiffel Tower are a violation of the artist’s copyright under French law.

    But let’s backtrack a bit. France is a member of the European Union. According to the EU’s 2001 Copyright Directive, Article 5, photographs of architectural works in public spaces can be taken free of charge. Thus, taking pictures of public buildings are permissible, and those photographs can be published or distributed without prior permission in most European countries. However, the EU directive is optional. France opted out of including the directive into its national laws. The organization that manages the Eiffel Tower, the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, considers the lighting to be an artistic work that is separate from the tower itself. As such, usage of any nighttime images of the Tower requires prior permission from the Société.

    Under European copyright law, people cannot sell photographs of copyrighted works, upload them to stock photo websites, publish them in magazines, or – what affects most tourists – post them to social media.

    While most tourists visiting Paris would expect to photograph a world-famous landmark like the Eiffel Tower, and would consider it fairly ridiculous to think that an attached lighting display would somehow be considered separate and apart from the Tower itself, that’s exactly what the Société maintains. According to a 2014 article in the Art Law Journal: “Whether the lighting scheme is a separate protectable artistic work is debatable, but only the courts can make that determination.”

    The article implies that French courts have never ruled on the issue.

    So what is a humble tourist to do? Despite the Société assertion that the lighting display is under copyright protection, there is a difference between owning a copyright and actually enforcing it.

    Imagine the public relations nightmare that would ensue if the Société actually started enforcing the copyright. And then there is the reality of seriously attempting to enforce it. The Société would actually have to hunt down each of the 25 million or more photographers who have posted nighttime images of the Eiffel Tower to the internet, figure out their addresses, and mail them cease-and-desist letters. The cost of the research time and postage would be substantial in and of itself. If the photographers ignored the cease-and-desist letters, the Société would then have to follow up with a lawsuit, with all the costs associated with that. And what would they win? What has the artist lost by all those tourists posting their nighttime selfies with the brightly-lit Eiffel Tower in the background? There’s a limited economic value to such photographs. The costs of such lawsuits would likely not cover any gains.

    Art Law Journal concludes that posting the average tourist photo to social media is likely not going to be a problem. Rather, where photographers should ensure they obtain prior permission is if they are planning to use their photographs for commercial uses, such as in a magazine, on a movie poster, or on product packaging.

    Although the lighting display may technically be under copyright, the Société does not seem to be making the prohibition very prominent. A recent review of the Eiffel Tower’s official website does not show warnings against publishing nighttime photographs in any obvious place. Various tabs on the website, such as “Visiting the Eiffel Tower”, “The Magic of the Eiffel Tower,” and “Eiffel Tower Gallery/Pictures” all lack any such warning. In fact, one section of the website encourages tourists to “Submit Your Photo. The best ones could be published on our site.”

    Source : www.snopes.com

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