Is taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night illegal? Well, yes…sort of. According to the current French law, anyone can take a photo the famous Eiffel Tower during the day and share it openly; while nighttime photos taken when the tower is illuminated can only be for personal use. In fact, those who take night photos of the famous monument with the intention to sell or make money off of the photos may even find themselves in trouble.
Here’s why. Although the structure is technically in a public place, making it fair game for photography under the Freedom of Panorama law, the tower’s light display is considered art which is copyrighted by the original artist that installed it in 1985. According to copyright laws, before sharing any nighttime, illuminated photo of the tower, you must first obtain permission from the Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.
So should you avoid sharing nighttime photos of The Eiffel Tower? In most cases, snapping a nighttime photo of The Eiffel Tower at night and sharing it with followers on your Insta or Facebook page won’t cause much of a stir (considering thousands of the same photos are posted on social media each year). However, you may want to reconsider using the photos if they are part of an advertising or selling strategy just to be safe.