Your house is regularly photographed by passers-by without your consent?
You discover an unauthorized photo of the facade of your private mansion in an architecture magazine?
If the law protects respect for private life and copyright, it is case law that governs the right to photograph real estate without the owners' permission.
The concept of abnormal disorder holds a prominent place.
March: what vegetables and fruits are in season?
What does the law say about house photos taken without the owner's permission?
Depending on whether or not the object of the photograph is protected by copyright, or whether it belongs to the national domain, the rules are not the same.
1st case: real estate not protected by copyright
Real estate that is not the work of a professional is not subject to specific protection under intellectual property law.
- The principle: it is possible to photograph a property without the agreement of its owner
The law does not prohibit photos of a house without the authorization of its owner.
There is no right to the image of the property for the benefit of the owner of a property.
On the other hand, the Court of Cassation has already had to rule on this specific question of photos taken without authorization.
In a judgment delivered on May 7, 2004
Court of Cassation, plenary assembly, May 7, 2004, No. 02-10-450
, the highest French court settled a debate that had been going on for several years:
the owner of a thing does not have an exclusive right to the image thereof
In other words, it is possible to photograph your house, your apartment or your castle, even without your consent.
- The limit: the photos must not cause abnormal trouble to its owner
Jurisprudence does not give blank checks to all onlookers and tourists looking for exceptional properties to photograph.
It tempers the authorization given to photographers.
The owner of the house can object to the use of the photo taken if it causes him an abnormal disturbance.
It remains to be assessed when it is constituted... It is subject to sovereign assessment and on a case-by-case basis by the courts.
2nd case: immovable property protected by copyright
If your home is a copyrighted work, such as built by an architect or sculptor, it has
Its author must consent to the taking of photos beforehand.
He can also oppose it
article L122-4 of the Intellectual Property Code
If the creator of the property has transferred his rights to you, by a contract for the transfer of the right to use the image of the property, you are the one who has the possibility of accepting or refusing the photos.
3rd case: property in the national domain
It is possible to take a picture of the Palace of Versailles or the Louvre Museum, without special agreement.
On the other hand, the Heritage Code requires that any use for commercial purposes of national assets (the list appears in Decree No. 2017-720 of May 2, 2017) be subject to prior authorization from the manager (article L621-42 of the
4th case: public goods that have not fallen into the national domain
Reproduction of the image of public immovable property is free.
What to do if your house is photographed without your permission?
If your property is not protected by copyright, you can only take legal action if you
provide proof of abnormal disturbance
caused by photographs.
In other words, you must prove that the photos cause you
Evidence can be provided by any means.
For example, an abnormal disorder is characterized when:
The photo shows your address and curious people come to disturb your peace.
Burglaries have been facilitated because of the pictures taken of your facade.
The photo taken harms your professional activity (in the event of unfair competition).
What does the photographer risk after taking a picture of a house without authorization?
The photographer does not risk any sanction if the property is not protected by copyright or if the photos do not cause its owner any abnormal trouble.
In the opposite case,
the civil liability of the photographer or the broadcaster of the image is engaged
Before going to a judge, you can contact the person who took it or the one who distributed it and make your request for withdrawal in writing.
If your request is unsuccessful, you can go to court.
If the abnormal disorder and the damage are established, the judge may order the withdrawal of the photo taken without authorization and award you damages.
Can a photo be taken inside my house without my permission?
It is forbidden to take photos of the interior of a dwelling without the authorization of the occupant, at the risk of committing an
invasion of his privacy
The interior of an individual's home is protected by article 9, paragraph 1 of the Civil Code: everyone has the right to respect for their private life.
The invasion of privacy, characterized by photos of a person taken at home without their consent, is punishable by 1 year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros (article 226-1 of the
Jurisprudence and the law regulate the taking of photos of real estate without authorization.
The principle: there is a freedom to photograph the external property of others.
- Unless the photo causes abnormal trouble to its owner.
- Unless the house is built by an architect and the latter has not transferred the image rights to the owner.
Images taken inside a person's home, without permission, are prohibited.
They constitute an invasion of privacy.
In case of non-compliance with these rules, the photographer engages his civil or criminal liability.