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I have a question regarding the selling of drones
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Warbishop
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If it's considered against policy to use drones for business purposes then how do you sell drones themselves ? Isn't this splitting hairs or am I confused?
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Gerry1124
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Sell them as a hobby or recreation.
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gnixon2015
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it is the flying of the drone that cannot be used for the business purpose.  if you wanted to use the drone as a door stop at a local night club (just making a way out there example here) that would be legal i believe.  im no lawyer, just giving my 2 cents (or 2 whatevers for you non-US friends haha)...
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Warbishop
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But under that same logic couldn't you sell their photos under hobby and recreation?
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Warbishop
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gnixon2015 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:01
it is the flying of the drone that cannot be used for the business purpose.  if you wanted to use th ...

But people buy them to fly... And advertise this utility.
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Warbishop
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Why can't you fly for fun and accept tips lol?
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markus2015
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Its not against policy to use drones for business purposes everywhere. I could get a licence (valid per flight or per year) and sell the pics/vids.
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Gerry1124
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Warbishop Posted at 2015-1-30 03:07
Why can't you fly for fun and accept tips lol?

I can do the pics and videos for free and just charge them for the editing process.  No law broken.
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gnixon2015
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markus, that isnt true in the US (at least not right now).  there are only like 2 valid business licenses currently here.  internationally, i was not trying to speak to that aspect.

my point was that if you fly the drone and take that footage (photo, movie, whatever) and sell it for a business purpose (like real estate, private investigator, etc) then that is illegal in the US currently.

dont confuse my point with it being illegal and WHETHER PEOPLE ARE DOING IT.  i just saw a photo in our local paper where the paper used a drone to photo a new shopping mall to use in one of their articles.  this is a violation of our law.  but as mentioned in other posts, enforcement is currently nearly non existent.

but again, i dont think that simply using a drone in your business (like selling the drone itself or using it for non-flight activities) would be considered illegal since all the legalities stem from FAA etc.
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jmims
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There is also the argument in the United States that the FAA cannot regulate drone use for business. I'm not a lawyer, but this guy is: http://dronelawjournal.com.
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Warbishop
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And besides, congressman Maloney of New York who sits on the FAA board or whatever he does, hired a photographer who used a drone at his own wedding. So?? Wouldn't they have to prosecute his photographer too??  
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gnixon2015
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yes they would.  again, not saying you PHYSICALLY CANT do it.  TONS of people are doing it.  tons of people also speed every day.  that doesnt make it legal.  i was simply answering your question of IF somethign was legal, not how likely you are to get away with it.
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Warbishop
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And since policy and actual regulation are not the same, it makes me wonder.  Idk, I have been doing aerial photography for 15 years and have sold more aerials than probably any one person in American history.  But I can't use my drone? That sucks. I might have to sell my new phantom and take a loss.  I love flying it but it would have been very useful to me.  
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Gerry1124
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Warbishop Posted at 2015-1-30 03:20
And since policy and actual regulation are not the same, it makes me wonder.  Idk, I have been doing ...

Do the video of the real estate with the owners permission for free.  That is not against the law.  Just charge them for editing of the video you made for free.   That is what 1 media company is doing here and his lawyer says they cannot touch them.
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markus2015
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:12
I can do the pics and videos for free and just charge them for the editing process.  No law broken ...

I like that idea, good thinking

Wonder if it would pass in court.
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gnixon2015
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jmims, that guy is a lawyer, ill give you that.  and he is very possibly right.  however, if you read that content carefully, there is still INTERPRETATION he is making in certain parts of the blog.  IMHO, a single lawyers interpretation is not enough for me as a lay person to take that to mean that factually his position is 100% right.  again, he may very well be right.  and he may very well be wrong.  im not sure.  but currently the FAA CLAIMS that it is illegal.  his point (again interpretation here) is that they are wrong.  if i am running a mom and pop business, im not too worried about the FAA actually coming after me.  but i think the area is still grey, it may or may not be legal depending up the situation.,
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gnixon2015
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i think gerry's idea is defn a way to circumvent.  i have a buddy that is getting off the ground with a new boat product.  i offered to him to video it for his business.  i am doing it FOR FREE but he will used the video after i am done to market his product.  this, to me, would be like what gerry is saying.  he is not making money off of the drone itself, nor am i.  it goes against the SPIRIT of the 'law' (if there really is one) but not the letter...
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Gerry1124
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markus2015 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:23
I like that idea, good thinking

Wonder if it would pass in court.

He was hired by the Sheriffs office to fly a grid over a 5 mile swamp looking for a stolen boat.  The Sheriffs office stated they would pay him to process the video, not fly and make the video.  On the bill that I saw, it said $250 paid for processing.  He did find the boat and they did make an arrest of the person stealing the boat.
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Warbishop
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:23
Do the video of the real estate with the owners permission for free.  That is not against the law. ...

That's an option I'll look into. Thank you Gerry.
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trailtec.email
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:23
Do the video of the real estate with the owners permission for free.  That is not against the law. ...

Oke, before I comment on the above let me just reinforce the point gnixon has made.
Whenever someone gives an opinion on a law whether they be "The man on the Clapham omnibus" (the British law's definition of the average person), a lawyer or even a LEO they are giving just that, an opinion. In the first case it's a lay opinion, the second is a legal one and the third is an interpretation of the law. None of these are gospel until they have stood up in court including an appeal. Even the sheriff was simply interpreting a law (and in a way that benefited him I may ad) and the Chief LEO a couple of towns over may see it differently. As gnixon said one lawyer's opinion is nowhere near establishing status quo until it's been tried and tested in court and often either more than once or thru an appeal process right up the the highest court that applies.

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Now, this "do it for free and charge for the edit" worries me because the law says "for business purposes" not "for direct financial gain". To my way of thinking any time you use a drone for a purpose that is related to business that is business purposes. You may not be paid directly for the footage but obtaining that footage is a part of conducting your business and therefor a "business purpose".

For example, a realtor using a drone to take his own footage is not going  to be paid directly for the footage but it's hard to deny it's not a business purpose isn't it? The same goes for someone who's business is editing and producing promotional videos.  Without the drone taking  the footage he would not have it to edit and get paid to do so. From another angle a company does not get income directly from it's delivery van (assuming they are not a delivery company) but it is still used for business purposes and is in fact registered as such, a business vehicle.

I volunteer as Business Development Manager for our local Show Society (US guys think County Fair Board) and I would love to take some aerials of our Sunday Markets and use them on the market's facebook page and website but  even as a volunteer and not charging my opinion (and that of a friend who specialises in aviation law) is that would still constitute business use as a business (the society markets) would be using the footage in a business manner by promoting the markets and that constitutes business use. I wish we had a US based lawyer on here, I'd love further learned opinion from that side of the pond.

IMHO there is no way this defence would stand up in court for a moment.  Maybe US law is radically different on this point to Australian but the argument looks to be universal to me.

Discuss . . .

PS: I'm not picking on anyone, I quite enjoy discussing this kind of point so don't beat me
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Gerry1124
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trailtec.email Posted at 2015-1-30 08:29
Oke, before I comment on the above let me just reinforce the point gnixon has made.
Whenever someo ...

You can fly recreational with the owners permission.  That is not against the law,  Editing some video is also not against the law.
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Gerry1124
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trailtec.email Posted at 2015-1-30 08:29
Oke, before I comment on the above let me just reinforce the point gnixon has made.
Whenever someo ...

IMHO there is no way this defence would stand up in court for a moment.  Maybe US law is radically different on this point to Australian but the argument looks to be universal to me.


The DA wanted to press charges, but the receipt was paid for editing and not doing the video.  So he gave up  and there was never any charges brought against the owner.
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gnixon2015
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his point tho (and i agree with it) is that indirect business purposes could be (by a court) considered no different than direct business purposes.  so in that case, flying isnt against the law, editing isnt, but use of that video BY A BUSINESS could be.  again, not saying it will get enforced, that is an entirely different discussion, but his point is that there could be a transitive property to 'doing business'.
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droneflyers.com
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Consider this confusion....

I fly drones, then write about them and make money from that! Obviously, that's legal.
BUT, if I fly a drone and take a picture to sell, that's against guidelines...??

It really is splitting hairs but I do understand it...only because they just haven't come up with the regs yet! In the absence of guidelines, government always defaults to NO. Government is a conservative institution by nature....

Trying to make sense of it is fruitless at this point...until the regs come out.

Each person has a threshold for what they "feel right" doing. If I were a Real Estate Agent, I would probably take some pics of the houses I listed and not feel I was doing anything wrong. At the same time, I would not invest 100K in a new business of aerial photography and offer my services on the web and on billboards.

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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 03:12
I can do the pics and videos for free and just charge them for the editing process.  No law broken ...


There's no way this is true in the US if you're taking photos while flying in the air. Let's not spread incorrect information like this.
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 09:21
There's no way this is true in the US if you're taking photos while flying in the air. Let's not s ...

Please enlighten us as to what is NOT true?
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leehartley2000.
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Flying drones commercially is prohibited.  Selling drones is not flying drones commercially.  Recreational flying is permissible.
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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 09:25
Please enlighten us as to what is NOT true?

Doing anything that involves flying a UAV in the air for profit is not legal without an exemption from the FAA. It's the same reason farmers are not allowed to fly UAVs over their fields to check out crops they are planning to sell.
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 09:37
Doing anything that involves flying a UAV in the air for profit is not legal without an exemption  ...


Tell that to the DA that tried to charge the owner with a crime for looking over the swamp.  They could not file any charges because the receipt stated he was paid for editing purposes, not filming.  No charges were ever filed.   BTW, he is still flying and doing real estate, weddings among other things and the FAA says nothing now.  You believe what you want or hear,  I'll believe the results.
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droneflyers.com
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 09:37
Doing anything that involves flying a UAV in the air for profit is not legal without an exemption  ...

So when I buy a drone, fly it to to review it for PROFIT......and I would not make the profit without flying it....please explain why either that is illegal or why it's not?

The only difference between me and someone selling a photo is that their bits (1's and o's) represent a color picture and mine represent words on a page or web site.

Actually, it gets even closer. I review drones - taking pictures from the drones - then make $$ from those pictures because they grace my books and web sites (with ads and sponsors), so I make money.

The only possible answer it would seem you could give is that my business is illegal. But if mine is, so is every site on the internet that covers quads.....

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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 09:54
Tell that to the DA that tried to charge the owner with a crime for looking over the swamp.  They  ...

Gerry1124, nobody cares what you believe -- they care about the law. Well, those who don't want to get fined care. Just because people are illegally shooting commercial photos and getting away with it does not make it okay.

http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 10:07
Gerry1124, nobody cares what you believe -- they care about the law. Well, those who don't want to ...


I saw the results of what happened.  They could not do anything to them.  The DA representing the FAA with their "cease and desist" letters backed off because he had NO case.
Enough said.
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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124 Posted at 2015-1-30 10:10
I saw the results of what happened.  They could not do anything to them.  The DA representing the  ...

Gerry1124, it would be helpful (for everyone here) if you posted a link to that information.
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 10:19
Gerry1124, it would be helpful (for everyone here) if you posted a link to that information.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read ... ers-to-drone-pilots
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 10:19
Gerry1124, it would be helpful (for everyone here) if you posted a link to that information.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20140830/ADV/140839893

an excerpt from this.

Mr. Sachs said the DPA, which has about 1,500 members who use drones for commercial and non-hobby purposes, has argued in the lawsuit that the FAA’s new rule is a direct violation of what Congress forbade in 2012 when it approved the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. That legislation included a provision that stated the FAA is not allowed to create any new laws with respect to model aircraft not approved by Congress.
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 10:19
Gerry1124, it would be helpful (for everyone here) if you posted a link to that information.


http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2014_08_30_archive.html

Excerpt

So far the FAA has sporadically cracked down on the banned commercial use of drones, also called unmanned aerial systems. It has issued fines and cease-and-desist letters in some cases. But commercial operators contend the FAA has taken a contradictory stance by allowing hobbyists to use drones while barring commercial operations. The FAA has permitted hobbyists to use drones as long as they keep them within sight of the remote-controlling operator at all times, fly them under 400 feet and keep them away from airports. The FAA, meanwhile, has been working on specific rules since 2009 to govern the commercial use of drones but hasn’t yet enacted anything — leaving the industry in limbo. It has barred those uses until new rules are in place. The FAA has said it hopes to propose regulations later this year permitting the use of commercial drones that weigh 55 pounds or less. But industry experts say it’s unclear what those rules will entail and how they would be enforced. Congress, meanwhile, has ordered the FAA to develop a comprehensive plan to safely integrate drones by September 2015.


He charges for editing the video which falls in the category of hobbyist.

Any other questions, look it up, google can be your friend!
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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124, none of what you posted shows evidence that FAA has approved shooting video for free and charging for editing. And, telling someone to "look it up in google" is rather insulting. This is a serious topic for people who wish to sell commercial photos. It seems you're just here adding more fluff to threads to increase your post count (I noticed you've been doing this a lot lately).
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Gerry1124
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PhantomHelp Posted at 2015-1-30 10:50
Gerry1124, none of what you posted shows evidence that FAA has approved shooting video for free and  ...

The FAA has permitted hobbyists to use drones as long as they keep them within sight of the remote-controlling operator at all times, fly them under 400 feet and keep them away from airports.

Flying for free is legal according to the FAA.  There is nothing to say you cannot charge for editing the video for money.  You say you cannot use a drone to make money,  so you cannot take a pic with a drone and publish a book with that picture in it.  We fly for free up here, make amateur video and charge to edit it.  It doesn't say in the FAA that you cannot do that.  I'm finished, I KNOW the results of what the DA says and we still fly without FAA interference.
Have a good day.
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PhantomHelp
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Gerry1124, thanks for confirming that you have no proof that the FAA approves of this kind of sneaky commercial activity. Have a good night too, sir.
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zathis.sasktel
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Warbishop Posted at 2015-1-30 03:02
But under that same logic couldn't you sell their photos under hobby and recreation?

It would depend on the laws in your area.  I know that you can make up to a certain amount of money where I live and have it still considered a hobby.  Amateur photographers here for example, can see their photos and as long as they don't exceed 35000.00/year it is considered a hobby.
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