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North Carolina just outlawed drone photographing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GerryG, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. GerryG

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    NC just outlawed anyone using a drone for pay while photographing. The law went into effect Oct 1 2014. I always thought taking photographs was considered a first amendment right. I guess a journalist could be outlawed from reporting if he or she was compensated for their work. This is outrageous!!! Look what the FAA has started.
     
  2. CaptMike

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    This is Absurd. I'd think this is going to be Challenged in Court. And it's also going to be Illegal for someone in N.C. to look at Google Earth? :evil: :evil: :evil:
     
  3. HarryT

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    I thought that using radio controlled aircraft for commercial purposes was already illegal without an FAA licence, so what does this change?
     
  4. Monte55

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    That's the way I understood it also. The government can make anything bad and illegal unless they can charge you a fee to do it. Typical BS
     
  5. Suwaneeguy

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    This will get trashed when challenged.
    Only the FAA can regulate airspace.
    And under 400 feet, or 700 feet according to their own attorneys, there is no law, period.

    I just had a look at the basics of the law.
    It does not outright eliminate aerial photography as you claim.

     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The OP's thread title is wrong but text of the thread is correct
    The law itself makes commercial drone photography illegal - except with a state license - once the FAA gets its act together and authorises it.

    Apart from commercial use the other references to photography are:
    Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person, entity, or State agency shall use an unmanned aircraft system to do any of the following:
    (1) Conduct surveillance of:
    a. A person or a dwelling occupied by a person and that dwelling's curtilage without the person's consent.
    b. Private real property without the consent of the owner, easement holder, or lessee of the property.
    (2) Photograph an individual, without the individual's consent, for the purpose of publishing or otherwise publicly disseminating the photograph. This subdivision shall not apply to newsgathering, newsworthy events, or events or places to which the general public is invited.

    There's also something in it about developing a test for operators (no mention of commercial)
    The law if available at http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bill ... S744v9.pdf
    And the relevant part starts at page 227
     
  7. Suwaneeguy

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    http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bill ... 1099v2.pdf

    Read the entire bill.
    Right up front they deny your rights to take photos for commercial purposes using a drone.
    In my opinion, this whole bill will probably get shot down and trashed.
    Sorry Governor, but only the FAA can issue pilot's license and the US Congress has laws prohibiting the regulation of
    remote control aircraft. Since the federal government can't do it, that allows the states to do it?
    I don't think so.
     
  8. CaptMike

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    So here's what I did today!

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=butWo07y0d4[/youtube]
     
  9. GerryG

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    It is not illegal for a professional photographer to hire a private pilot (not commercially licensed) to fly over a location to take photos. The FAA does not consider this a commercial act, but the same FAA tried to say that a drone pilot/photographer/videographer who received a fee for shooting the same scene at a lower altitude would be considered commercial. It is the definition of commercial that is in question and do they have the right to limit 1st amendment rights. The courts have deemed photography a first amendment right with common sense privacy restrictions.
     
  10. rjstone

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    This could be good in a way because it's a case of someone doing someone elses' job because it isn't getting done, which tends to show up the person (or agency) not getting things done. So it further pressures the FAA to do something when it looks like other parts of the government are tired of waiting for stuff and trying to make laws themselves. Especially if this gets thrown out, it doesn't cause a problem except for people at the FAA who are moving too slowly.
     
  11. darwin-t

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    This is the important part to me:

    Model aircraft. – An aircraft, as defined in G.S. 63-1, that is mechanically
    15 driven or launched into flight, and which meets all of the following
    16 requirements:
    17 a. Is flown solely for hobby or recreational purposes.
    18 b. Is not used for payment, consideration, gratuity, or benefit,
    19 directly or indirectly charged, demanded, received, or
    20 collected by any person for the use of the aircraft or any
    21 photographic or video image produced by the aircraft.

    22 (3) Unmanned aircraft. – An aircraft, as defined in G.S. 63-1, that is operated
    23 without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft
    24 and that does not meet the definition of model aircraft.

    If you read it, the term used throughout the law is "Unmanned aircraft". None of that applies to "Model aircraft"
     
  12. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Ironic that North Carolina was famous as the site of the world's first powered human flight.
    Their license plates used to proudly proclaim First in Flight.
    But they have no interest in that same pioneering spirit now.
     
  13. Buckaye

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    Having read the document it appears that for most private usage you're going to be ok (as long as you adhere to the model hobby clauses)

    I go to NC every year and I plan to shoot video for my own purposes. I don't think anything I read outlaws it :)
     
  14. rudedog

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    This is the same law when you're walking around taking pictures, with a hand held camera, on the ground.
     
  15. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    As explained earlier in the thread, it's not about recreational photography, it's about commercial photography.
     
  16. rjstone

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    It looks like the same as basic existing US photography law to me. I heard of a case in class of some guy in a suit walking down the street in a city who got photographed by someone. The photographer later sold the photograph for use as a "random guy in a suit" stock photograph (which got used in an ad or heck knows what). The photographer and/or publisher were sued because (s)he didn't have a model release. Basically, use of anyone's image for commercial purposes without a model release signed by them (or a parent if they're a minor) is illegal. Anyone selling anything with someone's image in it needs a model release, or needs to remove them from the image. (This is one of the reasons why some TV shows will blur out images of random bystanders; they didn't get actor/model releases for them.)

    Same photo kept for personal use: probably fine since nobody has any "reasonable expectation of privacy" just walking down a street in a city. (Note I say "probably" because I don't know for sure and don't know the law especially in all possible areas or all possible cases, such as a context where stalking is going on.)

    Photo of the guy for a news article about him: probably fine because it's for journalism purposes and not advertising, etc. Using it for an article about "guys are dressing well lately" or something unrelated to him specifically (that is, using it essentially as a stock photo) would be illegal without a model release.

    Anyone doing photography, especially if they're going to sell any of it, is strongly advised to consult a legal guide of some sort if not a lawyer regarding photography laws.
     
  17. Sketch6995

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    well according to the FAA, the airspace is their jurisdiction alone, i'd challenge that one in court.....thats exactly why i have litigation insurance lolz. well one of the reasons anyways.
     
  18. rjstone

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    It would be useful if someone who was an aviation, privacy, or some sort of lawyer with relevant experience could comment on what the laws affecting regular manned aircraft are. If national airspace is solely the FAA's jurisdiction then they're going to have to have laws about taking photographs, firing weapons, etc, from typical manned aircraft.
     
  19. Meta4

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    Surely those sort of things are covered by the same laws that apply on the ground rather than some additional FAA rules.
    The FAA don't care what pictures you take from a real plane.
    Their area is aviation safety not what people do inside planes.
     
  20. rjstone

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    Well "surely" paper airplanes aren't aircraft, yet it sounds like they are based on the FAA's definition, but aren't according to the FAA's actual history of behavior. It sounds to me like the FAA has, up until this point, been able to get away with playing everything very fast-and-loose and doing things in an arbitrary manner, but now they're going to have to actually get their act together if they want to avoid some sort of "restructuring" in the next few years.

    The technology situation isn't going to get any easier for them. If self-driving cars become common, the next thing to happen will be self-piloting air cars. (Yes, now that the whole self-driving car thing is looking unusually reliable you might actually get the "flying cars" you were promised back in the 1960s.)