EIFFEL TOWER … WHEN ITS PHOTOS ARE FORBIDDEN …

  I have often taken photos of the flickering Eiffel Tower.  In fact, I have some very nice and publishable photos of the flickering Eiffel Tower! However, they will be for my eyes only. How come? It is forbidden to publish photographs of the Eiffel Tower taken when its lights were flickering. Is this some […]

The Eiffel Tower from Place de la Concorde (cc Marilyn Z Tomlins)

 

I have often taken photos of the flickering Eiffel Tower.

 In fact, I have some very nice and publishable photos of the flickering Eiffel Tower!

However, they will be for my eyes only.

How come?

It is forbidden to publish photographs of the Eiffel Tower taken when its lights were flickering.

Is this some odd French rule?

Yes, it is, and it is because of copyright laws. Not only French copyright laws, but worldwide copyright laws.

This is how it works and it is rather complicated.

Copyright laws state that any creation – painting, poem, book, written article, photograph, video, song, game and even a building – is protected during the lifetime of its creator, plus a further 70 years.

As you will know this means that one cannot copy an author’s book, say one published in 2001, and publish it today as one’s own work.

However, there is something called ‘freedom of panorama’ law and this makes it possible to take a photo of say the Eiffel Tower and to publish it. And even to build a copy of the Notre Dame Cathedral or of Saint Paul’s, and indeed of the Eiffel Tower, as they no longer fall under copyright laws. Thus, there is an Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. The creator of the tower had died in 1923 so adding 70 years to that year, from 1993 the image of the tower was no longer protected by copyright laws, and as the law stipulates, it had become ‘in the public domain’.  The Las Vegas Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1999, in other words, when the tower was no longer subject to copyright laws.

However, because of the lights on the Eiffel Tower, when those lights flicker, the tower has again become an artistic creation, and the tower thus yet again falls under the laws of copyright.  But only at night when the lights are flickering. Those lights were installed in 1985.

Do know though that you can take as many photographs of the flickering Eiffel Tower – and I have – but to commercialise those photos is breaking the copyright laws.

I learnt this only recently so I will now go check if I have not published my night-time Eiffel Tower photos on my website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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POUR L’AMOUR D’UN POÈTE

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