It’s Illegal to Post Photos of the Eiffel Tower at Night

It’s Illegal to Post Photos of the Eiffel Tower at Night

According to European Copyright Laws, the lights on the Eiffel Tower are still an artistic creation under copyright.

At last! You’re in Paris and you’ve seen all the scenic monuments in the City of Love, except the most iconic of them all: the Eiffel Tower.

It’s nighttime, the tower’s twinkling in absolute charm, and you’re just about to snap a photo of the beautiful sight and post it on your social media page – but hold that thought.

You might not want to, because it could actually be illegal to do so.

Yes, unfortunately, using photos of the Eiffel Tower at night goes against European Copyright Laws. Why? Because all illuminations on the tower are an artistic work under copyright and protection. Don’t believe us? Here’s what the official Eiffel Tower website says: The various illuminations of the Eiffel Tower (golden illumination, twinkling, beacon and events lighting) are protected. The use of the image of the Eiffel Tower at night is therefore subject to prior authorisation by the SETE.

With that said, one would have to reach out to Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) – the company operating the tower – if they want to distribute their photo of the Eiffel Tower at night. Posting them onto social media counts as distributing, by the way, but fret not no one has been brought to the French courts over their photos… yet.

So it’s safe to say that the law applies mostly to commercial use, and it’s okay to take photos and keep them as memories on your phone or camera. Just don’t sell them, upload them onto stock photo websites, or publish them in magazines without permission!

And for those wondering, taking photos from the tower or of it during the day is perfectly fine. But once the sun sets, that’s a different story it’s all on you! Remember that every evening, the tower sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour as its beacon shines over Paris.

Moral of the story? Put your gadgets away and take in the scenery with your eyes because it’s simply magnifique.

About Author

Teri Anne Tan

If she's not binging on Korean BBQ on a night out with her friends, Teri Anne is most probably at home rewatching Studio Ghibli films or planning her next trip abroad. She loves reading, indulging in clothing hauls, and listening to hits from both K-pop and '80s British Rock. Her ultimate dream? To enjoy a mug of hot chocolate under the Northern Lights in Iceland.


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