If you photographed the Eiffel tower at night, you may have violated the law.
During the day, you can take photos as you please. There is no problem at all. The problems start as soon as the sun goes down and the lights turn on.
Apparently, photographing the tower at night consists in copyright infringement.
According to Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which manages the tower, the lights are artistic.
The official website of the association states: “The numerous Eiffel Tower lighting (golden light, glitter, radiation and event lighting) are protected by law. Use of Eiffel tower images at night must be subject to authorization by SETE. The use of images is costly and the price depends on the purpose, media plan, etc. ”
This means whoever will be photographing the Eiffel tower at night must obtain permission from SETE. According to European copyright laws, distributing photos of protected works is illegal.
Photos posted on social networks can be considered dissemination and therefore a violation of the law.
However, the French courts have not punished anyone over this law, so you probably should not be scared.
Under European Union law, copyright expires 70 years after the author's death.
The lights were installed in 1985 by Pierre Bideau, who is still alive. So, for the next decade, photographing the illuminated tower will remain outlawed.
Pictures from the top of the tower are permissible and are not protected by any law.