Ahh…. Paris, the city of love and light, and… copyright. Your nighttime pictures of the Eiffel Tower may very well be off limits: La Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower’s official website states that although taking photos of the Parisian landmark is alright in the daylight, pictures are a no-go at night.
The website explains: “Its various illuminations are subject to author’s rights. Use of these images is subject to prior request from the “Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.”
Although the Eiffel Tower itself is in the public domain, the light show that is put on at night is subject to copyright. The show is an original choice and style made by the actor who has determined which lights and colors are projected and at which speed the illuminations take place. Consequently, a reproduction requires permission, and perhaps compensation.
Of course there is always the question of enforcement. Okay, so maybe it is forbidden. But who is going to check? Search engines reveal a lot of images of the Eiffel Tower light show. It is unlikely that these are all reproductions made under permission. On the other hand… do you want to risk a copyright infringement suit? Isn’t coffee and a croissant in Paris expensive enough?