The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A question for the lawyers here, re: drones (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
There has been some conversation in the media here recently about the guys who took down the drones: pro and con opinions ad nauseam. However, it makes me wonder whether the average person in the U.S. nowadays (especially the more opinionated ones), really has a clue as to what a "right" is.

For instance, if I buy a drone, do I have a "right" to fly it anywhere I want? Airports and fire departments are already getting into this issue, but, for the moment, let's just focus on whether I have a "right" to fly it where I want.

Now, if a guy up the block decides to hover his drone over my back yard and obviously look around, and I find it annoying, do I have a "right" (an "equal right?") to do something about it? Granted the first and civilized thing would be to go over and talk to him, but, again, do I have a "right" to do something about it?

I suspect that drones will become a political agenda as soon as the industry gets big enough to create a PAC (and Intel is already investing serious money in drones), but, for now, I'm curious as to the "rights" issue.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Starrpower
View Profile
Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
I'm not a lawyer, but I have similar questions.

If I am very tall and can look over your privacy fence, is that any different from flying above that fence to have a look?

How about if I have a window that looks down into your yard?

How "high" do air-rights extend? If an airplane can fly over my home, why not a drone? Simply because the drone is lower? After all, a Google Earth satellite is REALLY up there, but it looks down into my yard. So is it the field of vision, or proximity we are concerned about?
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Good questions, but my OP isn't about what the drone (or the very tall person) would see or not see, or about proximity; it's just about whether the term "rights" is appropriate here, and whether "rights" apply equally to both the observer and the observee.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
arthur stead
View Profile
Inner circle
When I played soccer, I hit
1823 Posts

Profile of arthur stead
Surely spying on someone is questionable, whatever the vantage point? (And I know, don't call me Shirley).
Arthur Stead
royalty-free music and interactive routines
www.arthurstead.com
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5024 Posts

Profile of landmark
At one time, Americans did not use the word "privacy." They used the words "freedom" and "liberty" instead.

But now that would cause too much cognitive dissonance.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20613 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
What do you have to back up that contention that they didn't use the word privacy?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Guys, please, we're getting off the subject of the OP here. Smile

The question is about "rights" and the definition and application thereof.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5024 Posts

Profile of landmark
@ Danny: You're like a guy who asks to explain why a joke is funny. Okay, there's no word privacy in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence if that makes you happy. You can do a search.

The point is this: the Fourth Amendment wasn't couched in the language of "privacy"; it's about our rights--rights that were fought for. So when people say "You can't expect privacy, privacy is dead in the age of ____________ (fill in the blank: Terrorism, The Internet, Modernism, Security Concerns, Drones)" what they're really saying is: screw it, it's not that important, it really has nothing to do with 1776. But if you explain that it's about freedom and liberty, it's not so easy to dismiss. Those words have more resonance for most Americans.

"A man's home is his castle" was a matter to be fought over, not submitted to.
George Ledo
View Profile
Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2917 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
Quote:
On Aug 29, 2015, landmark wrote:
So when people say "You can't expect privacy, privacy is dead in the age of ____________ (fill in the blank: Terrorism, The Internet, Modernism, Security Concerns, Drones)" what they're really saying is: screw it, it's not that important, it really has nothing to do with 1776.

To me, that's just a way of saying, "you can't fight city hall." Totally against what our founding fathers fought and put their necks (literally) on the line for. I don't have a clue if it's just a defeatist attitude, or being PC,. but I think it's sad either way.

And on that note, I'll drop this thread altogether. Sorry I started it.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
Tom Cutts
View Profile
Staff
Northern CA
5852 Posts

Profile of Tom Cutts
Quote:
On Aug 28, 2015, George Ledo wrote:
if I buy a drone, do I have a "right" to fly it anywhere I want?

No, you have no such right.

Quote:
Now, if a guy up the block decides to hover his drone over my back yard and obviously look around, and I find it annoying, do I have a "right" (an "equal right?") to do something about it?

You have the right to take him to court and explain your reasonable right to privacy. The parameters of such may vary from municipality to municipality.
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12589 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
Zoning laws and nuisance law would also come into play, as would laws governing trespass.

In the old common law it was said that property rights extended "upwards to Heaven and downwards to Hell. And that was basically the way it was until the advent of aircraft.

In the United States, the government (FAA) has complete jurisdiction of all airspace above five-hundred feet. Aircraft flying below that altitude, except when landing or taking off (which is covered by easement laws), are in PRIVATE airspace owned by whoever owns the property immediately below.

It would seem to me, therefore, than any drone flying lower than five-hundred feet above your property is trespassing. (Or, more properly, the operator of the drone is trespassing, the same as he would be if he were actually on-board the aircraft.)

With the advent of private drones, the laws will very likely be refined and restated as they become more prevalent.

For more general information, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_rights#United_States
mastermindreader
View Profile
V.I.P.
Seattle, WA
12589 Posts

Profile of mastermindreader
Have you ever been driving down the highway when suddenly, SPLAT- a large insect or small bird explodes on your windshield?

It won't be long before you read of similar incidents involving low flying drones. But the consequences will be far more catastrophic than a messy windshield.

As I already stated, with the advent of private drones, the laws will very likely be refined and restated as they become more prevalent. They will also be very complex. The minimum altitude, for example, of a drone flying over public property will be governed by the nature of the property below (utility poles, the presence of a public highway, public safety considerations, etc.)

I predict that eventually all private drone operators will have to be licensed and subject to FAA rules and the rules and regulations of local and state governments. The least restricted use will be over a person's own private property - up to five-hundred feet, subject to the presence of easements, utility poles, heights of surrounding buildings, etc. - or over other private property with the permission of the owner.


And it will get even more complicated after the first accident involving a drone and a regular aircraft, motor vehicle, or pedestrian involving injury or property damage. That's when criminal and tort law will have to be interpreted and applied. Drone operators will also be required to maintain liability insurance.
Magnus Eisengrim
View Profile
Inner circle
Sulla placed heads on
1064 Posts

Profile of Magnus Eisengrim
Until recently we had "model aircraft" and "model helicopters". They were certainly regulated by noise and nuisance bylaws. But was there more regulation? Legally, I don't see how these models are different from the the current wave of drones. To be sure, the new drones are cheaper,easier to fly and are attracting a large number of inexperienced operators.

Wonder what the existing framework and precedent has to say about old-school model flight.

(It's also interesting how innocent "model aircraft" and how nefarious "drones" sounds.)
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
balducci
View Profile
Loyal user
Canada
230 Posts

Profile of balducci
FWIW:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/drones-boom-......31535417

The FAA says the advent of drones has extended 'navigable airspace' - and thus the FAA's authority - down to the ground. As long as private drones don't endanger people, the agency says, they can legally hover just above private property in the U.S. The agency added that many states and cities have 'noise and nuisance' laws they can use to prosecute drone users who fly over private property.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
balducci
View Profile
Loyal user
Canada
230 Posts

Profile of balducci
Not a lawyer, but lawyers are cited in this article:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/......alleged/

The best case law on the issue dates back to 1946, long before drones were even technically feasible.

That year, the Supreme Court decided in a case known as United States v. Causby that that a farmer in North Carolina could assert property rights up to 83 feet in the air. In that case, American military aircraft were flying above his farm, disturbing his sleep and his chickens. As such, the court found he was owed compensation.

However, the same decision also specifically mentioned a "minimum safe altitude of flight" at 500 feet - leaving the zone between 83 feet and 500 feet as a legal grey area.

But in 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) asserts its right to all airspace.

"The FAA is responsible for the safety and management of US airspace from the ground up," Les Dorr, an FAA spokesman told Ars in a statement on Friday.

Peter Sachs, a Connecticut-based attorney, private investigator and drone advocate, concurred.

"There is no defined aerial trespass law," he told Ars. "You do not own the airspace over your own property."
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
5024 Posts

Profile of landmark
Quote:
As long as private drones don't endanger people, the agency says, they can legally hover just above private property in the U.S.


1) Are they endangering me if they are flying over my fenced-in property and are equipped with high resolution cameras?

2) Will such drones used by law enforcement be allowed to prosecute if someone is smoking a joint in their own fenced-off backyard?
Kabbalah
View Profile
Inner circle
1621 Posts

Profile of Kabbalah
Quote:
On Aug 29, 2015, landmark wrote:

Will such drones used by law enforcement be allowed to prosecute if someone is smoking a joint in their own fenced-off backyard?


Interesting question.

I would assume so, since the SCOTUS has ruled that the Fourth Amendment affords no expectation of privacy in *open fields*.
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
~Cliff Green

"The greatest tricks ever performed are not done at all. The audience simply think they see them."
~ John Northern Hilliard
funsway
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
9086 Posts

Profile of funsway
Anyone remember the sci-fi book, "The man who sold the moon?"

I secretly purchase high airspace rights above all the parts of the earth over which the moon travels.
When the moon started to be populated he charged rent.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

eBooks at https://www.lybrary.com/ken-muller-m-579928.html questions at ken@eversway.com
Josh Riel
View Profile
Inner circle
of hell
1999 Posts

Profile of Josh Riel
1:I wish one of my neighbors would try to fly a drone in my yard.
2:My second wish would be to know who that neighbor is.
3:My third wish would be that I left no evidence to point to me as the person that eradicated his flesh, his soul, and his entire known geneology, while making sure everyone on this, or any other effectable plane of existance knew the reason why an entire bloodline was erradicated, and why the end of the one person was so horrific to the point that no creature extant in heaven and on earth would deem it appropriate to even remember it out of fear of the MEMORY of the baleful evil that was wrought apon that single individual for thinking he could see how far the legal system allowed him to go with his flying camera in my families presence, without my consent.

I'm sort of intense when it comes to my wife and kids though.

I like Turtles.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
Intrepid
View Profile
Special user
Silver Spring, MD
989 Posts

Profile of Intrepid
Quote:
On Aug 29, 2015, Magnus Eisengrim wrote:
Until recently we had "model aircraft" and "model helicopters". They were certainly regulated by noise and nuisance bylaws. But was there more regulation?

Yes. The radio frequencies radio controlled ("RC") models were permitted to operate on was set by the FCC.
Bob
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A question for the lawyers here, re: drones (3 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.22 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL