Très Intéressant


File this under Weird Things I Never Knew: apparently, images of the Eiffel Tower illuminated at night are copyrighted. From the official website:

Q: Are you allowed to publish photos of the Eiffel Tower?

A: The views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free. Permission and rights must be obtained from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel” (the Operating Company, or SETE) for the publication of photos of the illuminated Eiffel Tower.

In the early 2000s, when the lights were added to the tower (the really pretty blinky ones that go off every half hour at night), the SETE was able to claim copyright over the tower, despite it being public domain, because they had modified it. Imagine if someone strapped lights onto the Mona Lisa and then asking you to pay money to publish pictures of it when lit. According to the website, “The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, falls within the public domain. Daytime views from the Eiffel Tower are rights-free. However, its various illuminations are subject to author’s rights as well as brand rights. Usage of these images is subject to prior request from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel” (the Eiffel Tower’s operating company, or SETE).”

paris fireworks

Strange! The copyright seems to only extend to publication for commercial use. Personal use (like posting photos on your blog) is fine. But it begs the question: how do they monitor it? And what about the, and this is a low-ball estimation, several million photographs, paintings, likenesses out there of the Eiffel Tower at night people sell? How can you copyright the Eiffel Tower?!

What are you up to this weekend? We’re spending the weekend with Jamal’s parents, and since they live so close to New York, I’ll be sneaking off to the city to meet this girl in person (finally!) while she’s in town visiting. To say I am excited is an understatement!

8 thoughts on “Très Intéressant

  1. hmmm, very strange. that doesn’t quite seem like a very ethical thing to copyright the Eiffel tower! i am always confused what blogs fall under? does it depend? i always err on the side of being overly cautious with these things, but i don’t think i’d worry about this one.

    i am going to try figure out this little miss marla over the weekend. she is so, so sweet and cute and funny, but now that she is getting comfortable she is letting her spaz flag wave. and i don’t know but having is dog is harder than having kids me thinks! so i think we will be hanging with marla and playing and googling such things as: my dog digs tries to dig my floors . . . my dog refuses to eat . . . my dog won’t take treats outside . . . my dog barks at shadows . . . that sort of thing. happy weekend twinsy!! xoxo

  2. They have parks here that you can’t even post a picture on a blog with out noting the parks specific requirements. which i don’t know how they would enforce that either. DUMB- but I think they are probably trying to have some control over it right?

  3. wuuuut that is the strangest thing- i seriously wouldn’t even know that if i haven’t read your post. i’m not in the habit of thinking that landmarks I’m taking pictures of could be copyrighted haha. it seams like people are starting to make money off of the strangest things o.O

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  4. That is interesting – I never knew that. I wonder how hard they lay down the law on violators. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  5. weird. I had no idea. the whole copyright things is strange. I totally get that artists don’t want their work taken and others to benefit from it. but in the www-days, there is not much you can do, is there? if it’s big companies using your work, you may be able to sue them, but what about all the African, Asian and ex-Russian countries that do however they please? nothing you can do about it. funnily enough, it’s exactly the big companies that make their images freely available more often these days.

    it’s Diwali here. I have yet to go and brave the crowds, having opted for a hike in the national park yesterday instead of going into town. I kinda want to see it, but I’m also not particularly keen on people at the moment. so we shall see…

    hope you are having a most wonderful weekend xxx

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