Category talk:Eiffel Tower at night

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I've just uploaded the file File:Eiffel tower from bottom by night-Paris.jpg and I've read the warning message about the rights of the tower's 'night version'.  What does this mean? Can I leave the photo or I have to delete it?  Let me know what to do.  --Edisonblus (talk) 16:43, 18 September 2010 (UTC) 

I will change the wording on the warning - it seems much too severe. The court case - via Google Translate- is quite limited. It was about:

"Whereas June 17, 1989, the company "The Image Mode" introduced in the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Eiffel Tower, a "sound and visual spectacle" consisting in particular of the effects of lighting of the tower by a combination of ramps and projectors, along with image projections and fireworks; that companies Publishing Is Protet and Editions Lyna-were carried out by Mr. Y ... photographs of this show, from which they have manufactured and marketed a series of postcards;"

that is a series of photos that attempted to give the gist of a dynamic light show with fireworks. Note that there is a concept of De minimus in the French law.

For a photo to violate this copyright decision it would have to show something clearly from the centennial light show, or by extension from some other sound and light show, it should be in some way dynamic (e.g. video or a series of photos) or fireworks or the projection of some image. If it's just the Eiffel Tower with some lights on it doesn't violate this decision. If there is some other court decision about this, please let me know, but if folks are doing all this deleting based on this decision, they are clearly getting carried away. Smallbones (talk) 16:39, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Not sure it is a court decision, but a claim by SNTE: [1] Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:35, 19 September 2011 (UTC)
It's pretty vague but even here it's denoted as being "adorned it with a distinctive lighting display, copyrighted the design". It's the light show (in the court case) or as claimed here, the "distinctive lighting display" that is/may be copyrighted. Ordinary lights being on don't qualify for copyright here or anywhere (lack of originality, creativity). Smallbones (talk) 01:55, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
However, SETE's own claim is quite broad: "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)"[2]
As per our COM:PRP as well as for the legal safety of our re-users, we should be cautious to loosening our restrictions for upload without having a sound legal expertise to do so. --Túrelio (talk) 07:46, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
It's clear to me that SETE is claiming copyright (perhaps by omission or just an overly broad interpretation) that go beyond the court ruling. For example "its various illuminations are subject to author’s rights" might easily be interpreted to include pre-1923 photos, since there is no time limitation given by SETE. I see nothing in the court ruling that refers to ordinary night-time lighting. In fact it specifically is limited to the Centennial light show. If the Centennial light show can be copyrighted, other light shows there can be copyrighted. But if they are really claiming that anything at night with a light on is copyrighted (and I don't think they really are, except possibly by omission) then we don't have to take such an overly broad claim seriously. If somebody wants to say in the category text that "SETE claims ...", please go ahead, but I think the text would then have to include something like "but the court rule only applies to the Centennial light show." Smallbones (talk) 17:56, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we should attempt to steer clear of copyfraud creep. --  Docu  at 05:29, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
work of art?
Independent of the SETE claims, illuminations may qualify as work of art and therefore be copyrighted by the artist (SETE or not). But such an evaluation might be rather complicated and controversial. See example image at right:
Another possibility might be to ask SETE either for 1 example case or regularly on a case-by-case basis, whether they consider a specific illumination as copyrighted. However, that might be legally dangerous, as thereafter we couldn't claim good-faith. --Túrelio (talk) 08:20, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Why should we cater specifically to SETE? --  Docu  at 21:24, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
FYI: I made an undeletion request for a file I vaguely recall had some quite standard lighting (here). --  Docu  at 03:49, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
As far as I know, we never had on Commons any image of the copyrighted show performed by the company La Mode en Image (i.e. the show that was copyrighted according to the court). That woud have required someone catching an image of that temporary show back then in June 1989 and uploading it here. At least, I never saw any such image here. The Commons images that some people like to routinely send to deletion requests are just images of the tower with its ordinary fixed lights of the society operating the tower (SNTE), which have nothing to do with the show of 1989 of La Mode en Image. (The fixed lights had been on the tower since 1985. After the La Mode en Image case in 1992, SNTE smelled a good opportunity and tried to extrapolate on it, claiming that its fixed lights would be copyrighted. AFAIK, they never dared sue anyone for publishing images of it. They might be afraid to lose if they tried to claim that hypothetical extrapolation in court.) -- Asclepias (talk) 20:13, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

No copyright on ordinary light[edit]

Hello, Following Asclepias' argument (Commons:Undeletion_requests/Current_requests#File:Paris_2010Feb_218.jpg), I read the case [3], and effectively, the court talked about a "spectacle sonore et visuel consistant notamment dans des effets d'éclairage de la tour par une combinaison de rampes et de projecteurs, accompagné de projections d'image et d'un feu d'artifice". {sound and light show with images and fireworks}. That's quite different from the ordinary light on the tower. Yann (talk) 13:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Given Google Translate, that doesn't sound like that sentence was part of the ruling exactly, just a description of the show. The ruling part seems to be in the last paragraph -- could a French speaker translate that perhaps? I'm referring to this line: cour d'appel a souverainement retenu que la composition de jeux de lumière destinés à révéler et à souligner les lignes et les formes du monument constituait une "création visuelle" originale, et, partant, une oeuvre de l'esprit. Google Translate does the section as "Court of Appeal held that the sovereign-up of sets of light intended to reveal and emphasize the lines and forms of the monument was a "visual design" original, and therefore a work of the mind". It sounds like the ruling was more general than the specific description of the event (and it sounds like the Eiffel Tower was the subject of the show in question); i.e. the fireworks may not enter into it at all. Since the court case was about postcards, the sound aspect was obviously not part of it either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:27, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Indeed I believe that Yann (and jcb before him) is in error in his understanding of the court ruling. He bases his decision on a translation of the reasoning of the court of appeal, not the conclusion. As you can certainly understand the concludion is all that matters for jurisprudence and in that case the court decided to use rather all-encompassing language.
The exact words of the conclusion of the court of appeal were "la cour d'appel a souverainement retenu que la composition de jeux de lumière destinés à révéler et à souligner les lignes et les formes du monument constituait une "création visuelle" originale, et, partant, une oeuvre de l'esprit ; qu'il en résultait nécessairement au bénéfice de son auteur un droit de propriété incorporelle" which I translate to : "The Court of Appeal held that the sets of light / lighting effects(*) intended to reveal and emphasize the lines and shapes of the monument was a "visual design" original, and therefore a work of the mind the result of which necessarily results in property right". As you can see there is no mention of any dynamic light show, just light to emplasize the shape of the monument. (*)there is an ambiguity here in the translation from French to English as the French "jeu" can mean "a set of" or "a play / a game". Whatever translation we choose please note that the current nighttime display of the tower is not only static floodlights but also two dynamic effects: a permanent "lighthouse effect" and a "strobe effect" every hour. These dynamic effects are present on some of the images that Yann and jcb decided to keep.
In any way, this is a serious and complicated issue. Basing the official position of Wikimedia Commons on the decyphering of a supreme court ruling by a bunch of amateurs (not insult intended but I believe none of us is a legal professionnal trained for this sort of situation) strikes me as a dangerous move. SETE does indeed claim copyright on their nighttime display and has sued in the past. We should not forget that Commons images are licensed for commercial use so it is very possible that one of these nighttime images of the tower would find its way onto a postcard where no doubt it would get noticed.
The wisest thing to do would be to ask Wikimedia Foundation for help on the matter, as they have legal professionals who should be able to understand and advise. In the meantime the precautionary principle should prevail.
D4m1en (talk) 16:50, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
I feel compelled to add that the copyright of the nighttime display of the tower appears to be universally accepted, although universally hated. For a lot of references on the matter please have a look at Yann's talk page where TwoWings has done a very good job of finding lots of external references. At the moment Commons appears to be the one and only place on the Internet to challenge the validity of the copyright. In my experience, one is rarely correct against everyone else... D4m1en (talk) 17:00, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
None of the references given by TwoWings come from a lawyer. They comes from blogs, essays, and made by journalists, etc. And it seems that TwoWings has opened a lot of deletion requests which are clearly not needed. Universally accepted is quite an exageration. I would say it is commonly believed by many people. Yann (talk) 19:09, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Still, the decision text itself seems to support SETE's position, to me. Is there anything which refutes that? They do seem to say the decisions involved in deciding which aspects of the tower to highlight results in a protectable work -- no mention of the dynamic aspects of shows, and that would seem to apply with even their usual standard display. I don't think U.S. courts would reach the same decision, and I would not apply it to photos were people just stuck a couple of floodlights up, but ... even though the decision seems bizarre to me, that is the decision. How would you translate the concluding ruling about what constitutes a work of the mind? Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:17, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Yann, you are wrong: at least this reference found by TwoWings comes from a French lawyer who lists her specialties as "Real Estate" and "Intellectual Property rights". Do you honnestly believe that your analysis of the matter is better than that of a specialist lawyer ? D4m1en (talk) 21:19, 16 November 2011 (UTC)


Can I upload fa:File:France 298.JPG to Commons? Is this a dynamic light display? Americophile 17:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)