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Can an image of a castle belonging to the French public domain be reproduced for commercial use without financial compensation to, or authorisation from, the public institution in charge of the Chambord Estate, in the Loire Valley?
The Conseil d’État (Council of the State) ruled on this issue, in a decision of April 13, 2018, related to photographs of the Chambord Castle used by Kronenbourg Brewery in the context of an advertising campaign for one of its beers.
Courts had previously decided that the commercial exploitation of a photograph of a private building was allowed without prior authorisation or any financial compensation, unless the photo caused abnormal disturbance to the building’s owner or if the owner has copyright on that building.
The Conseil d’État adopted the same position and rejected the appeal filed by the public authority of the Chambord Estate against the decision of the administrative Court of Appeal of Nantes of December 16, 2015.
Jurisdiction report, Loire Valley, Chambord Estate, Conseil d’État, Kronenbourg Brewery, Chambord Castle, Court of Appeal of Nantes