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  1. glider

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    The FAA has never attempted to charge/fine anyone selling videos/pictures taken from their drone. They've threatened, made statements about "their" interpretation of the law, but why aren't they following through with their threats? I postulate they have no legal authority to do so and would get sued if they did, and lose.

    Hat tip to Deserteagle.
     
  2. Steve Carr

    Steve Carr Moderator
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    Good observation glider. I know little about law or the FAA. I suppose there is a minute distinction between fining a person for selling pictures and fining a person for using an aircraft for commercial purposes without credentials. Someone with much more expertise will hopefully shed some light on the subject.
     
  3. DroneClone

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    There have been arrest and fines, A man in California was arrested and fined $10,000 for flying over a fire and interfering with aired firefighters, and there are others! And as far as pictures videos etc. I believe it's not they "Can't" but a combination of just getting the warning out and giving violators a chance to know the new laws. And I bet because they are not staffed enough with manpower to start it up as of yet!
     
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  4. KBflyer

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  5. QuadBart

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    Well, be my guest to "poke the bear" and test them. They make the rules regarding airspace over the US. So what they say goes until they change the rules. As DC mentions, people have already been fined for violating their rules. Its already been proven they have legal authority when it comes to airspace and use of that airspace...

    I do believe on their scale of offenses, its probably one of the lesser offenses they go after. Ones like flying over International Airports or interfering with Firefighters, etc being the ones they really care about. BUT that doesn't mean they won't go after the lesser offenses to make an example of someone(s).


     
  6. glider

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    I'm not referring to laws concerning public safety etc. Interfering with firefighters is certainly not protected by the Constitution.

    There is no law requiring anyone to possess a license to sell their art created by taking pictures from the air. The FAA can make all the rules they want, they can't make law. Why people think the FAA can do anything they want because the FAA claims to "own" the air is misguided.

    But art is a form of speech and we still have freedom of speech. Banning of cameras in the air is the only way the FAA can prevent an individual from profiting from his art, but that must also come from Congress.

    BTW, John Taylor's lawsuit is still ongoing for the same reasons mentioned; the FAA cannot make laws.
     
  7. Rayray

    Rayray Moderator
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    Are camera photos and videos art? Interesting...but above my pay grade. I have no idea.
     
  8. Brian Mackey

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    I think they can be! If you go on walkabouts and weekend packs, and shoot ducks and daisy's, come home put editing skills to use and create beautiful images then one could call it art, and for The FAA to say its a commercial venture it out of control. Next thing we will have to pass a test to use Literoom and Photoshop
     
    #8 Brian Mackey, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  9. gwhuntoon

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    I'm no legal expert but in my opinion if you have a business name DroneVideos LLC and use it to shoot videos commercially, then yes, the FAA would more than likely go after you without a commercial license. If on the other hand you have a business CustomCreations LLC which primarily sells photographs and videos from a tent at an art fair or some small shop somewhere and some of those photos and videos happen to come from a drone while others come from ground based cameras then I'm guessing they would leave you alone. Just an assumption on my part but the rub is, who shot the pictures or videos from the drone and for what purpose? What was the intent when it was done? Was it leisure? Or was it, hey, I can use this footage for my photography business? If it was done in leisure and later you decided, hey that footage would really be good to have in my shop, etc. is where I think it gets really murky. If on the other hand your drone is just another piece of photographic equipment used by your business, then I would say, get a license. Either way, its a risk someone has to decide for themselves whether or not to take.

    Here's another example, what if you use your drone for fun, you've shot a whole lot of photos and videos over the years. Years later, you decide to open up shop and try to sell what your media, is it legal to do so? Again, not very clear cut in my opinion.

    If I'm using my drone for leisure/hobby, I'm still FAA registered, just not yet as a business nor was my drone procured and/or claimed as a business expense. I would like to eventually get my commercial license so at least I have legal options.
     
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  10. Rayray

    Rayray Moderator
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    Makes good logical sense, gw.
     
  11. KBflyer

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  12. DroneClone

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    Try to sell your Art or anything you do with a sUAS for $$$ and see if you can get away with it! Amazing you seem to know everything about FAA and Laws and Regulations, But believe me there are penalties!
     
  13. DroneClone

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    Try it and see!!!!!
     
  14. glider

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    More threats. Big Government bureaucrats will choose the least capable to fight back, so everyone runs away scared.

    I remember 30 years ago in
    Find one unlicensed pilot fined for selling their art created with their camera in the air. The most they can do is claim reckless operation. The FAA is a good example of how a fascist system works.
     
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  15. hatfield

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    I am a Realtor wanting to use drone aerial photography in my business but only if I can be 100% legal. I have already passed my 107 and obtained that license but I started chasing legality over a year ago before there was a 107 path. I applied for a section 333 exemption which got put on hold once 107 was announced. I went to the National Realtors Convention in San Diego in November of 2015. One of the the sessions was a panel of FAA representatives briefing us on these very laws with an extensive Q&A period. It was a large crowd and somewhat hostile as many were already using drones and being told they must stop. Several people actually challenged the FAA rep by saying somewhat the same things like "I'm not hurting anyone .... I don't think you have the legal authority .... You can't catch us all, you don't have the manpower .... etc." The FAA rep calmly explained that the fine process takes a long time, maybe a year or more and many were in process. He also said that although they don't necessarily go looking for violators, they DO respond to all complaints and turn ins. By turn in, I'm talking about those who go to all the time and expense to be legal having to compete with someone who is not legal. They can file that complaint and FAA will look into it, practically guaranteed. At least with the 333 Exemptions, the FAA actually listed those exemption holders on their web site along with a convenient online form to turn someone in. I expect they will list the 107 license holders as well. Like in my own case, I have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to use this in my business legally. It was done so that I would have a significant "point of difference" over my competitors. If, to compete with me, they run over to Best Buy, buy a drone, and post the pics of their listings, I WILL turn them in, I just will. I can see that happening with everyone trying to legally incorporate drone usage into ANY business. And, it was explained that actually receiving compensation is not a pre-requisite. Just using it to "enhance" a business qualifies as commercial. I'm not charging extra but I'm enhancing. A farmer looking at his crops is looking for drought, predator damage, disease ... he is enhancing his business. The "art' dealer throws a drone photograph into the mix in a street fair and that picture catches the eye of the passer by more so than the rest ... he just enhanced his business. In reality, we mostly all know the difference between hobby flying and any kind of non-hobby flying but many try to ft into a gray area so that they don't have to get the license. I personally feel that air space is air space and that, eventually, everyone, hobbyists included, will require a license to fly a drone. We will do that to ourselves. As a practical matter, it's the only way to stop the arguments and disagreements.
     
    #15 hatfield, Sep 9, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2016
  16. Brian Mackey

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    eventually, everyone, hobbyists included, will require a license to fly a drone.

    This is probably true -- and I imagine the 107 will change over the next 3 years as well. But I don't believe we need the drone police already stirring up stuff, when they do not know of the pilot is licensed or not! Just my 2 cents ..
     
  17. Deserteagle

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    Sorry to come in late. Forgot the password..

    Fact is you have a right to sell art and yes video is considered art along with photography. You cannot charge for flying your craft but you can charge for your time editing the video. The FAA has backed down on the whole fining people for selling videos or making money on them. I can take a picture from an airplane I'm flying on and not need the governments approval. So if you take video of an event and somebody wants to buy an "edited" version of the video this it's fine. Pirker was NOT charged with flying for money he was charged with reckless flying. The FAA "interpretation" is just that and "interpretation" so unless Congress passes a bill and the Senate and President sign into law then the "interpretation" is all they have.

    READ
    Drone Law Journal
     
  18. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ Administrator
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    The information you have given is incorrect. Currently in the USA you may not sell any footage taken while hobby flying. You must hold a 333 or 107 exemption to do as you described. Taking a pic from an airplane is a personal thing, not commercial and not "unmanned flight" so why would you need government approval? Selling an edited video would also require you to have a 333 or 107. Saying you are only charging for the editing "trick" is old and they are well aware of it. There is no "work arounds" if you sell footage or photos. Do it the right way or don't do it at all. The new Part 107 is affordable and educates you on the needed air safety rules.

    1. What is the definition of recreational or hobby use of a UAS?
      Recreational or hobby UAS use is flying for enjoyment and not for work, business purposes, or for compensation or hire. In the FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft, the FAA relied on the ordinary, dictionary definition of these terms. UAS use for hobby is a "pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation." UAS use for recreation is "refreshment of strength and spirits after work; a means of refreshment or division."


      SOURCE: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Frequently Asked Questions/Help
     
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  19. BobW55

    BobW55 Moderator
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    Well said TJ.
    I think most of this has to do with what Hatfield touched on. He is doing in legal. He has taken a test to prove he knows about airways, and safe flight in general. Now if Mr. Stupid pilot was to go out and buy a Drone (pick your own preference), and starts filming real estate for hire, and flies across the path of some crop duster, who gets the blame? The entire industry would.
    I applaud the FAA for taking some steps to keep things SAFE. Remember we are talking an UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE not a manned aircraft. I will have to check but I think to fly a manned aircraft for hire, be that taking a photographer for a ride or doing it yourself, you have to hold a commercial rating. The rules only apply if YOU took the photos and made money from it.
    Now if I took the photos and GAVE them to someone else to sell, that would be different.
    I do think the FAA needs to better clarify where the line is drawn.
     
  20. hatfield

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    Charging or not charging money for the work does not matter, nor does it matter who took the photos. If the photos are used to enhance a business, it is no longer recreational. I'm a Realtor and I will use my AC to take aerial videos. However, I am not "charging" anything extra but I am enhancing my business. Also, if the homeowner had a hobby drone and gave me pictures he took of his own home and I posted them on my public listing page, those photos are being used to enhance my business and that makes it commercial even though it is after the fact of taking the photos. I got this direct from the FAA representatives, person to person. Now, to be clear, this was all under the 333 Exemption rules. Those rules were much harder to work under and, frankly, were out of the reach of most people. That tended to make people "ignore FAA" and just push their luck. The new Part 107 makes it very possible for anyone who wants to to get licensed. Personally, I think it will INCREASE the FAA being more strict as now there's no good excuse. And, like I said before, many people will now be starting businesses with their drones. Those people WILL police their respective communities. I've been dubbed "that drone police guy" by Brian and that's OK but I'm only telling you what I've learned after a year and a half of trying to get legal. I have received my license and am now legal and it was a lot of work and expense. So, if other Realtors in my MLS start posting aerial photography to compete with me, I should just let it go? Also, we haven't even begun to talk about insurance yet. Although not legally required today it is highly recommended. It would very unwise to do professional work, especially on a fee basis, and not have liability insurance. I'm checking it out now and WILL have it. I will make a couple predictions for the next couple years. First, insurance will be mandatory in a commercial drone business. Second, if you fly a drone at all, you will have a license. Take this quote from dronelife dot com: " ... the FAA now says that recreational fliers must belong to a community based flight organization like the AMA, and fly within its framework, or take the Part 107 test." It does not make sense that I have to know that if clouds are at 400 feet, I cannot fly that day as a licensed pilot, but a hobbyist can because he doesn't know you can't fly 500 feet vertically or 2000 feet horizontally to clouds? It's coming.
     
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