You can’t take pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night
The ban has been in place for a while now, but as France becomes more aggressive in its crackdown on photo sharing, MEPs are joining forces in a bid to finally lift it.
What does the mean?
EU law allows country members the choice to demand permission before people can share or sell photos of historic buildings protected by copyright.
Most countries abide by something called ‘freedom of panorama’. This allows people to take photographs and video footage of buildings, and other artworks, that are permanently located in a public place. But there are countries where the freedom is limited, like France, Italy and Denmark, reports Politico.
Online freedom advocates across the EU have called its failure to secure panorama across the board as an example of ‘Europe at its worst’ and is demanding change.
How do I get around this?
Technically taking the picture is also illegal, but it’s the sharing part that will land you in hot water. If you want to publish the image to social media you must gain permission from the ‘Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel’ (the Eiffel Tower’s operating company). Julia Reda, a German MEP from the Pirate Party, told Politico: ‘The European Commission is afraid to pick a fight with the French government. ‘The French government has been quite clever and are telling the Commission that they’ve done something, so drop the issue.’
Is there any hope of changing this?
The EU held a public consultation asking people for their opinions, but despite the European Commission promising to publish the results in July, they’re yet to be seen. The Wikimedia Foundation, MEPs and other parties in Europe are currently fighting to lift the restrictions and impose freedom of panorama everywhere.