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Making money with your Video/Pics?

Discussion in 'Photos and Video' started by Kdog355, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Kdog355

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    ok, For over a year now I have owned a Phantom and been making videos, editing them, and showing them to friends. In the last 6 months I have been taking video of the progress made on a construction project and it will soon be finished. I am making this video for my employer and employees for their enjoyment and I'm doing this free of charge, I am not getting paid, and I wanted to do this to gain experience. Now, recently the construction company asked me for a copy of the video when it's finished. I have a problem giving it to them until I learn more of what's legal for UAV video/photography. I'm thinking they may hand it over the their marketing dept and use it for presentations. From what I've read, the FAA forbits the use of UAV for video/photgraphy commerically. It's not to be sold for profit. I'm also wondering if I do had over a picture free of charge and that personcompany uses it for profit, will I somehow get in trouble?

    I'm now being approached more and more from people wanting a pic/video of their home, property and it's time for me to investigate what's legal and not legal for me.

    Any links with easy to understand language of the laws on this is appreciated, and some advice too, thanks.
     
  2. FASTFJR

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    Have them pay you in cash, problem solved ;)
     
  3. dkr77573

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    You could release the video to the public domain. What they use it for is not your concern. If you wanted to get paid, Sell them a really expensive memory card that happens to have the video on it. ;P
     
  4. Driffill

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    Doing this will cover the pilot, but not any business! Once your video is posted to YouTube, you can't be responsible for where it goes, however, if a business uses that video for promotional purposes, they can still be fined! The FAA want business more than private pilots, business have more $$$. Although if the pilot says he/she was hired/paid to record the footage, he/she will be fined too!
     
  5. JustJames

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    Good info. I wish they would hurry up and regulate these things already. I'm fine with registering certifying and jumping through the hoops. I have had the same thoughts. I work for a fire department therefore I want to stay well within the laws. But it would be great to take spontaneous video at various events or Realestate and be able to have this thing pay for it self. For now You Tube it is.

    James
     
  6. Kdog355

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    Hmm. Driffill, yeah know, If I where to "say" I gave the video to them, they could claim I sold them the the video if company wanted to get me in trouble too. I may just have to post it up on utube after it's complete to cover my end.

    I wonder if I (we) where to do videos for others free of charge but say, we accept donations or a gift....? wonder how that would fly?
     
  7. Sidewinder

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    I'm a Commercially rated Helicopter Pilot. I have the same questions/concerns. I spoke with an FAA rep. at the local FISDO office and was told that there really was no regulation on this currently. I certainly don't want to risk any violation on my license due to the operation of this quad copter. At the same time I also don't want to be restricted in the safe operation of a UAV for commercial purposes. After all, that the reason for training, testing and obtaining a commercial license........ the ability (permission from government) to earn $$ from the operation.

    There's a case now working it's way through court concerning a nitwit who (allegedly)flew an UAV on and above the University of Virginia in a reckless manner in order to obtain aerial footage to be used for commercial purpose. He's been assessed a $10K fine by the FAA and it's under appeal currently. The results should be telling as to the direction of possible regulation on these vehicles.

    Interestingly, the operator in this case was not a rated pilot. He claims he's a hobbyist operating his toy plane. The charges indicate that he operated in close proximity to people and moving vehicles in a reckless manner. Apparently he pissed some of them off resulting in a complaint and investigation by the FAA. Once someone complains, they can't ignore it and you can bet there will be a follow through on the part of the FAA.

    I've held a commercial helicopter license since the late 60's and have done a fair amount of aerial photography over the years. I've also played with RC aircraft on and off over the years. Never before have we had a platform capable of getting decent shots until recently with the advancement of this technology. It is still in it's infancy. The simplicity of the systems means that this technology is available and within the financial reach of practically everyone so, one can just imagine the problems associated with any attempt to regulate this. I believe the FAA knows this and frankly would rather not deal with it but I'm afraid that the proliferation of the technology and irresponsible use of it by perhaps thousands of people will lead to some kind of regulation. In spite of the fact that the Modeler's associations and the FAA are friendly and working together on this very problem, I don't see how this can be avoided going forward. I just know human nature and as soon as there is enough damage to persons and property from these aerial platforms plenty of rhetoric and regulation will follow.

    The FAA has plenty to do with all the full size aircraft, ultra lights and other registered aircraft flying in the US airspace. It would be a monumental task (IMO impossible) to even think about registering and regulating model aircraft and what's being called UAV's now. Understanding this, another likely result is to simply BAN the operation by untrained, unrated, unlicensed persons and limit the possession of such vehicles. (we sure don't want that to happen)

    Sorry for going on so long but this is going to be a very complicated subject in the future. Meanwhile, the understanding between the AMA (for instance) and the FAA on operating RC's or UAV's; UAVs have to follow the rules put in place by the FAA for remote-controlled model aircraft many years ago. The rules basically state that the ground operator must be in constant visual contact with the UAV and the UAV can only fly 400 feet high (120 m). Why 400 feet? Because full-size airplanes have to fly at least 500 feet above the ground.

    I see plenty of guys trying to set altitude records with their phantoms. I've seen the video of them flying through cloud cover. All I have to say about that is, Sooner or later....... A 2 or 3 pound Phantom through a windshield or prop on a j-3 or Cherokee skimming cloud tops could be a disaster. Just because you are not near an airport doesn't mean you will not be in airspace with full size much faster aircraft. They don't operate like that around airports they go out to the friends farm or over some land they own or want to see and they transit over miles and miles sometimes at lower altitudes. Someone will eventually have a collision you can bet on it. The responsibility will fall on the operator of the UAV if he's outside the 400' restriction.

    Why have I mentioned all the above? Because there's a lot of ignorance of the rules of aviation by those never involved in aviation. That's perfectly normal. After all, why should anyone concern themselves in something they take no part in? However, once you venture into Indian territory (airspace full of Navajos, Cherokees, Apaches and other small aircraft) you have entered airspace where for nearly a hundred years now we have operated in relative safety where everyone follows a set of rules and you are not.

    Now, back to the original question, and this is just my personal opinion and counts zero before any court or board of inquiry.
    Did you operate in a reckless manner to obtain the video? Did you violate any FAR's? Was property or personal safety in jeopardy? Were you operating under a contract to provide footage? If the answer is no, then I don't see why anyone from the government will come a knocking.

    Additionally, how much time did you spend on editing and editing equipment? What's you time worth? If someone pays you no more than what it cost you how can there be a profit?

    I know this may cause more questions than answers but I don't believe there is any source for a definitive answer to this question at this time. My sources at the FAA say (privately and candidly) there is no regulation at this time. .... I bring up the guy just fined $10 grand and the answer is "that because of the reckless operation". .... definitely a double edged sword and that case is still in court.

    Might have a look for starters.

    http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org.../2010/perry - (2010) legal interpretation.pdf

    http://ezinearticles.com/?FAA-UAV-and-RC-Aircraft-Rule-Changes&id=6871607
     
  8. Sidewinder

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    Oh, and here's a FAA Policy Notice on UAS's (unmanned aircraft systems).

    http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/reg/media/frnotice_uas.pdf

    From page 5 of that document;

    Recreational/Sport Use of Model Airplanes
    In 1981, in recognition of the safety issues raised by the operation of model aircraft,
    the FAA published Advisory Circular (AC) 91-57, Model Aircraft Operating Standards for
    the purpose of providing guidance to persons interested in flying model aircraft as a hobby
    or for recreational use. This guidance encourages good judgment on the part of operators so
    that persons on the ground or other aircraft in flight will not be endangered. The AC
    contains among other things, guidance for site selection. Users are advised to avoid noise
    sensitive areas such as parks, schools, hospitals, and churches. Hobbyists are advised not to
    fly in the vicinity of spectators until they are confident that the model aircraft has been flight
    tested and proven airworthy. Model aircraft should be flown below 400 feet above the
    surface to avoid other aircraft in flight. The FAA expects that hobbyists will operate these
    recreational model aircraft within visual line-of-sight. While the AC 91-57 was developed
    for model aircraft, some operators have used the AC as the basis for commercial flight
    operations.
    Policy Statement
    The current FAA policy for UAS operations is that no person may operate a UAS in
    the National Airspace System without specific authority. For UAS operating as public
    aircraft the authority is the COA, for UAS operating as civil aircraft the authority is special
    airworthiness certificates, and for model aircraft the authority is AC 91-57.
    The FAA recognizes that people and companies other than modelers might be flying
    UAS with the mistaken understanding that they are legally operating under the authority of 6
    AC 91-57. AC 91-57 only applies to modelers, and thus specifically excludes its use by
    persons or companies for business purposes.
    The FAA has undertaken a safety review that will examine the feasibility of creating
    a different category of unmanned “vehicles” that may be defined by the operator’s visual
    line of sight and are also small and slow enough to adequately mitigate hazards to other
    aircraft and persons on the ground. The end product of this analysis may be a new flight
    authorization instrument similar to AC 91-57, but focused on operations which do not
    qualify as sport and recreation, but also may not require a certificate of airworthiness. They
    will, however, require compliance with applicable FAA regulations and guidance developed
    for this category.
    Feedback regarding current FAA policy for Unmanned Aircraft Systems can be
    submitted at www.faa.gov/uas. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find Contact
    UAPO. Click into this link.)

    Issued in Washington, DC on Feb
     
  9. Driffill

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    The fellow being pursued by the FAA is a well known "hobbyist" he does a lot of work in this field, the key word there being work! From memory, I think it's one of the guys from TBS (TeamBlackSheep).

    Now, to look at all this from another perspective, I own a car and a motorbike, my job requires that I drive 50~200km a day. Generally this is thru peak traffic. If I were to use my motorbike I could save a lot of time and money in fuel, the only minor issue is I don't have a licence for a motorbike (it's lapsed, but effectively, I'm un-licensed), now I can still save time and money using it, but under no circumstance would any insurance company approve any claim I made if I were to have an accident and injure myself or others, also the company I work for could also be fined for allowing me to drive illegally "for" them!

    So, how does this relate to UAV's? Well any drone being use for commercial purposes must be being used by a "business" (be it self employed, small business, corporation etc), that business would need a public liability insurance policy to be legally able to operate the business. If the **** hits the props, the insurance is there to cover any compensation claims by third parties.

    Now to swing back to the automotive example above, I also own a go kart. It cannot be used on public road either personally or commercially. Imagine your frustrations (with the governing authority) if go karts were allowed on the public roads without registration and/or licensing of the driver. They might be just like cars, and might be able to get the same speeds etc, but the car industry has been regulated for years and its those regulations that have kept the accident and death toll down . . . .

    Now for our Phantoms, They might be just like helicopters, and might be able to get the same airspace etc, but the aviation industry has been regulated for years and its those regulations that have kept the accident and death toll down!
     
  10. dkr77573

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    I can understand the safety concerns that the regs address. But what's the difference (safety wise) if I fly as a hobby with a camera for personal use or fly in the same place with the equipment with the purpose of selling the images in mind. Are hobbyists going to be required to carry some sort of liability insurance, like we do for cars?
     
  11. Sidewinder

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    Don't think the FAA or Congress wants to get involved with or interfere with hobby flyers. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 says this:

    SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.
    (a) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law
    relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into
    Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this
    subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
    may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model
    aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—

    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
    use;

    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community based
    set of safety guidelines and within the programming
    of a nationwide community-based organization
    ;

    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds
    unless otherwise certified through a design, construction,
    inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered
    by a community-based organization
    ;



    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not
    interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and

    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator
    of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport
    air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located
    at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft
    operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of
    an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating
    procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic
    control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the
    airport)).

    (b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section shall
    be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue
    enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who
    endanger the safety of the national airspace system

    (c) MODEL AIRCRAFT DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘model
    aircraft’’ means an unmanned aircraft that is—
    (1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;

    (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating
    the aircraft; and

    (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.

    I did the bold type where it mentions Community based. Reason is, I know that the AMA - Academy of Model Aeronautics has been lobbying on behalf of the hobby. There may be others but this is one I know of with a large membership and long track record. They have a manual with a National Model Aircraft Safety Code. I do believe the Congress and FAA may refer to something like this when using the term "Community based". I do NOT believe that hobby flyers will be in any way affected by future rules.

    I do believe that should reckless and irresponsible operations grow in number, especially should injuries and damage increase, certain "types" of equipment may be singled out and regulated. Maybe heavily regulated to the point of driving the cost up to a point that they will die the natural death of being priced out of the marketplace. (You can tax and/or regulate most anything of this nature out of existence)

    I'm as defiant as anyone when it comes to government meddling in the affairs of private citizens. However, I'm not naive to the point that I willing to believe that all of society will always operate in harmony. Therefore I accept the fact that there will always be regulations and along with regulations a power to enforce them. There's no such thing as part time anarchy. The trick is, not to do things or act in a way to cause uproar or concern by others. Fly your machine responsibly and nobody's gonna mess with you. Jack up an entire collage campus and you might piss everybody off including those who are normally you allies. This is the case of the Swiss idiot "trappy".

    I mean, why enter a country on a guest visa with the intent of violating their Federal regulations. Then, when called to task about the clear violations get indignant calling the laws and regulations "out of date' etc while filing your appeal and spending lawyer dollars. I know why, because it's easy ... it's American and we put up with that ****. Try that in the SAR (Hong Kong) or better yet cross over at Wo Lu and start buzzing people. They wouldn't put up with it eh. In fact go about anywhere and fly your Styrofoam rocket through traffic and by people and see what happens. .... It's guys like this that are going to make things hard for us that just want to have a bit of fun flying our machines safely. And his sorry *** ain't even from around here. Sorry, yeah it's a rant. Rant over.
     
  12. Fair Game

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    I think there is a big divide in flying Phantoms and taking aerial pics for a hobby and doing it professionally where there will be considerable pressures to meet deadlines.

    The lure of money will lead some people into taking risks and flying in weather situations that would not normally be considered.

    I am sure most of us will have viewed YouTube footage such as that shot on Blackpool sea front and it landmark tower and come to the conclusion this flying was right on the edge with no room for error. If it goes wrong people could get hurt. If people get hurt further regulation will follow and we all suffer.
     
  13. havasuphoto

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    I'm new here, and my DJI Phantom is still being "assembled"-getting the Gyro and the Futaba remote configured, blah-blah.

    Anyways, I've flown Commercially as a helicopter pilot in the States for 23 years, logging over 9000 hours-mostly "life fight/EMS", and the Gulf of Mexico. I'm also instrument rated with a fair amount of hours in the clouds, and a flight instructor-blah, blah.


    In my "research", I've come to my own "conclusion" in regards to operating for Profit. I believe it's 2015(help me out here), all UAV "Pilots", flying for commercial gain, will be required to posses a Commercial Rotorcraft-Helicopter Certificate(says nothing about having a medical-which is why I retired).

    Here are some issues; The FAA can/will control controllable airspace. However, the FAA has no system in place, nor apparently any desire, to certify UAV Aircraft.
    So, their "Pilot License" solution is an elegant one.

    Also-as another poster pointed out; let's not "shine the spotlight" too brightly on our "hobby". I think it's a good idea to keep a "low profile", especially in crowded cities or over large groups of people.

    The reason I'm getting the Phantom, and into this "hobby", is a simple one-I'm retired, and bored. IF, I can make money with it, I will. However, I don't need too.

    Also, I believe that if someone wants to "pursue happiness"(it's in the Constitution), and that involves flying your Phantom around with a camera-there should be no impedance to your pursuits.

    What I do have an issue with is this; these things are becoming so cheap, and easy to fly-that I can see a possibility of half a dozen of them flying around certain "events".
    That's not going to work out well.
    Take a local sporting event-where your kid is playing Football at the local High School. And, let say 6 parents also have Phantoms(or other UAV's), flying around the field to capture Junior running the ball in for the touchdown. Do you see where this could be an issue?
    As of now-there really isn't any restriction to this happening.

    I believe the FAA is still in "shell shock", at just how rapidly this hobby has grown. And, in typical Government style-they haven't a clue.
    So, it will be interesting to see how they "resolve" this "for profit" operator Vs. the Hobbyist.

    1 more thing; just because I can fly real helicopters, does not make me an excellent Phantom Pilot. That fact remains to be seen....and, when I finally get my whole set-up, we'll see. Fingers crossed it doesn't end badly ;)
    (kinda like the Geico Insurance commercial, with the guy juggling chain saws, and the spectator saying; "I got this-gimme one.......")
     
  14. JustJames

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    Insightful take and good sense of humor. I especially like the chain saw reference.. Ha.
     
  15. Hiway

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    Welcome havasuphoto- I too am just in the door.

    I gotta thank you for the insight- especially coming from a true copter pilot who has waded through the tedium of the industry.

    I could juggle before I got into this hobby- now I can fly while juggling- in fact, I can video me juggling while flying.

    Later tater-
     
  16. Fair Game

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    In the UK there are already regulations and recognised qualifications in place if you want to make money from your airborne pic's.
    I don't think it is asking too much for those people to know the law on where and when they can fly and pass exams to show they can indeed maintain a safe standard of flying and general operations.

    As others have pointed out some of the footage on YouTube is spectacular and some serves only to show a total disregard for safety.
     
  17. Topeeka

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    Do chain saws have 4 OR 6 axis stability..??
     
  18. Hiway

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    Depends on the rpm's I'm thinking.
     
  19. havasuphoto

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    Depends on if you're juggling an even or odd number or chainsaws. Technically, you need 3 for it to be called "juggling".
    Then-if it's 2-stroke or four-stroke...blah-blah-blah.

    Here's my "opinion".......IF, the FAA mandates Commercial Pilots Licenses, for you to make money with your Phantom, or whatever-you're screwed. It costs close to $20grand, or more, to get all the requirements met, to get the license.

    But wait, there's more!!! Does it make you a better UAV Pilot?? Hell no!!!!

    Who cares if you know aerodynamics, airspace and all the regulations. You can throw all that out the window-because I've seen some Commercial Helicopter Pilots, that I wouldn't let drive my car!!!! And I certainly wouldn't let them even in the same room as my Phantom(Cool....gimme one-I got this.....come one...I got this....) :)

    AND, I may be one of those....... "come on-gimme one, I got this...."

    Dam thing better show up next week-or I'll be pissed!!! OH, I ordered mine with the Futaba 8J(installed and configured), version 1.1.1, AND, I also ordered the Zen something or other 3D Gyro. Hopefully they can install it at the same time as the radio-and ship it 1 State away....
    FYI, I ordered everything last Monday!!!!
     
  20. TheMattSanner

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    So...

    I'm still a little unclear.

    I have a business, with a business license, insurance, etc. So that covers me for the legality of taking money in exchange for services rendered.

    But are you saying that, while I can take pictures from the ground with my business, if I put my GoPro on a Phantom and charge for THOSE images, I'm violating some kind of law? (I'm here in Virginia, and AFAIK, the only laws about UAVs restrict the POLICE from using them, not civilians. Woot.) But does the fact that I'm flying a "toy" plane (hobby craft, albeit sophisticated), and charge for my images, somehow put me in a different light with the FAA?