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Texas Drone Law: $10,000.00 Fines????!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by damoncooper, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. damoncooper

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    This was posted in another thread but I just couldn't believe my eyes.

    Here is the passed version - http://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB912/2013

    Basically unless you are a university, law enforcement agency or oil company or have written permission from a private land owner, you are risking a $10,000.00 fine if you take pictures of trees or beaches or anything with a drone now in Texas and post it on YouTube.

    I might expect this kind of thing from some extreme left wing states but I never would have thought Texas would have enacted such draconian measures. Sorry for anyone in Texas.

    WTF??
     
  2. 480sparky

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    The way I read that, realtors can fly to take photos of property listed for sale. But just be dammed sure any adjacent property isn't in the images.

    I'd love to see someone goes through the Sunday paper and report each and every transgression listed to the authorities.
     
  3. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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  4. beeline

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    Since you brought it up, I see it the other way around.
     
  5. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    The "left" states seem to be doing better job of embracing drones than others.
     
  6. cshaw

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    I hate to be critical but your "land of the free and home of the brave " sounds like an over regulated home of the paranoid!

    (Actually I quite enjoy being critical)
     
  7. OI Photography

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    It's been pointed out by those far more knowledgable about it than I that a some of the parts of that bill that are directed at us step on the toes of the 1st Amendment, and that prosecution based on the bill would likely be thrown out if contested.
     
  8. ATC Drone Flyer

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    Would you mind expanding on that statement? I'm not sure that I follow your meaning. . . :?:
     
  9. jadebox

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    It does say that an "intent" to do "surveillance" is required for it to be a crime. So, the unintentional recording of adjacent property wouldn't be a problem.

    But, the whole section about civil actions is scary as hell. I can see it resulting in a lot of nuisance lawsuits.

    -- Roger
     
  10. markn

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    I agree with what he said too. I believe you would find conservative states are more likely to restrict the use of any technology which allow anyone to encroach on someone else's property. Even if standing on a ladder would give you the same view, or Google Street View, Pictometry, etc. What they don't want you meddling in their business, even if their business is dumping 10,000 gallons of hog blood in a nearby creek. I could fly over your property in a helicopter and take pictures of you, but I can't fly my drone over your house, or catch the corner of your back porch in a picture?
     
  11. damoncooper

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    I guess I'd have to totally agree at this point. My logic that conservative states would lean towards preserving freedoms was obviously flawed. Glad I live in Massachusetts in that regard.

    But the Texas law is a scary precedent. If I read this correctly, flying over 8 feet up and taking nature, beach and sunrise video on South Padre Island, Texas, fro example, is now outlawed, punishable by a fine of $5,000.00.

    Actually POSTING that video on YouTube will make it $10,000.00.

    When making a video of a sunrise from 9 feet up suddenly becomes illegal, something has gone seriously wrong!

    That's just crazy. Democracy malfunction detected.

    Where's that Law Drone Guy? Maybe we can get him to shine a light on this crazy law before other states start thinking it's a good precedent to follow and enact similar measures.
     
  12. 480sparky

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    Where does it say that?

     
  13. tmartin62

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    This is unbelievable. I don't even know what else to say except I hope it gets thrown out soon and other states (mine) does not follow along.
     
  14. dtviewer

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    Everyone is going crazy about this bill but not many have taken the time to actually read it...It certainly doesnt make it illegal to film a sunrise from 9 feet up...as a matter of fact it doesnt change anything that anyone with common sense wouldnt already know.
    Heres the relevant parts that I found reading through it:

    "Sec. 423.005. ILLEGALLY OR INCIDENTALLY CAPTURED IMAGES NOT
    SUBJECT TO DISCLOSURE. (a) Except as otherwise provided by
    Subsection (b), an image captured in violation of Section 423.003,
    or an image captured by an unmanned aircraft that was incidental to
    the lawful capturing of an image:
    "


    I bolded what seems to be the relevant part of the text...the 'incidental' part.

    Then there is this under the exclusions section:
    (6) with the consent of the individual who owns or
    lawfully occupies the real property captured in the image;
    and this:
    (16) of public real property or a person on that
    property;

    So from what I am reading it seems this bill is saying you can use the drones to take pictures of public property and people on that property, on private property with consent, and on your own property.
    Its also saying that 'incidental' filming is also OK as long as your 'intent' was not 'surveillance'.

    I think this bill is basically laying out what all hobbyist drone flyers should know...dont fly over private property, try not to film people on private property, and dont spy on people...
     
  15. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    No, the bill was created to keep whistleblowers from filming the dirty deeds of the corrupt.
     
  16. dtviewer

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    I just read through it again and dont see any of that referenced...but I wouldnt let facts get in the way of any conspiracy theories....
     
  17. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    From the article I posted a link to before...

    Does it seem like it's feeding time at the bridge or is it just me?
     
  18. chapsrlz

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    what about google maps?

    they use "drones" to take photographs right?
    they will soon start using uav's for google street...

    in my understanding (im far from being a lawyer) any resident of texas will be able to sue google?
     
  19. Wedeliver

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    I would suggest that folks that live where they are fracking take a look at your roadways. How is the center of the road? Is it decomposing? 30 years ago I lived in Lake County California where they drill geothermo wells and the waste is supposed to be trucked away to authorized dumps. But the drivers will open the valve on the back of the truck so it leaks whiile they are driving. Thereby having less or nothing to dump (and pay for) and the only evidence is the center of the roadway is chewed up.

    I read the law the OP posted and it says that

    Sec. 423.002. NONAPPLICABILITY. (a) It is lawful to
    capture an image using an unmanned aircraft in this state:....

    "(16) of public real property or a person on that property"

    is legal. The bill also repeats the intent is important and if we find that we took some pics or a video of something that is not listed as being legal (thereby being illegal) and we then delete the images, that is a defense against being prosecuted.

    (d) It is a defense to prosecution under this section for
    the possession of an image that the person destroyed the image as
    soon as the person had knowledge that the image was captured in
    violation of Section 423.003.
     
  20. varmint

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    And with a stroke of a pen, a Pig Farming lobby shoving money into a politicians pocket has single-handedly shut down the use of hobby aircraft with cameras in the entire state of Texas. It's not the FAA we should be worried about, it's those damned pig farmers.

    Texas, sucks to be you.
     
    mtnmaddman likes this.