Bastille Day Fireworks and Copyright

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition
Contact

Bastille Day is a French national holiday that commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, an important episode in the French Revolution. Each year, Paris celebrates the day with an elaborate military parade down the Champs Elysées. Large and small fire departments across France hold balls with music, wine and dancing; and of course fireworks are set off from the Eiffel Tower.

This year, the theme of the Eiffel Tower fireworks show is Paris est une fête (Paris is a party), which is the French translation of Hemingway’s memoir A Moveable Feast.” Perhaps you knew all this already. But did you know that, in France, copyright law will protect the “Paris est une fête fireworks display?

When the 100th anniversary of the building of the Eiffel Tower was commemorated, the French Supreme Court, or Cour de Cassation, held (in its Judgment of March 3, 1992, Case No. 90-18081) that a show “consisting of lighting effects of the tower by a combination of ramps and projectors, along with image projections and fireworks” is a work of art protected by copyright. In making this holding, the Court affirmed a lower court’s decision that a publisher cannot sell postcards reproducing photographs of the show without the show designer’s prior authorization.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is a good illustration of how extensive the notion of copyrightable work is under French law. Article 112-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code, states that works are protected by copyright “whatever their kind, form of expression, merit or purpose.”

So, if you get a chance to the see “Paris est une fête,” you might be reminded of original artworks and copyright protection.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition
Contact
more
less

Foley Hoag LLP - Trademark, Copyright & Unfair Competition on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.