why can’t you take photos of the Eiffel Tower at night?

You can actually take photographs of the Eiffel Tower at night; however, there was a misconception that arose from a specific aspect of French copyright law. Until recently, the lights display on the Eiffel Tower at night was subject to copyright, and taking photographs for commercial purposes required permission and payment of fees to the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, the company operating the tower.

Starting from 1 January 2016, according to a French court ruling, the copyright on the lighting display expired. This means that now anyone can take pictures of the illuminated Eiffel Tower at night and use them freely, including for commercial purposes, without infringing on copyright laws. However, general rules regarding photography in public spaces still apply, such as respecting privacy, safety, and local ordinances.

Before 2016, tourists and visitors could take photos for personal use without restriction, but professional photographers or those wishing to sell images of the lit-up Eiffel Tower had to obtain permission. Now, this restriction no longer applies to the lighting design itself.

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