The Taylor Case

cropped-logo-2048px.jpgDrone Law Nation, there’s never a dull moment in the drone law world, is there? A huge decision was handed down last month from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In the case of Taylor v. FAA, the Court held that the FAA’s drone registration requirement for hobbyists was illegal.

When I say illegal, I mean that it went against Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. That was a law passed by Congress and signed by the President. In our governmental system, a federal agency cannot do things that are banned by a federal statute. And that is what the Court held that the drone registration system did – it went against the text of the statute that prevented FAA regulation of model aircraft.

Today’s episode is a talk with John Taylor, the plaintiff in the case. Joining us is the (ever amazing) Jonathan Rupprecht, who you will know from prior episodes. Jonathan helped Mr. Taylor with the case.

This talk is an “inside view” of how the litigation went down. We also get into the “details” of what the Court did and why it made its decision.

Join us in reliving this important part of the history of U.S. drone law.

A Note About Support

Thank you to everyone that has clicked the “Support” link at www.dronelawtoday.com/support before doing your Amazon shopping. It costs you nothing extra, and a few pennies are thrown back our way. Enough of you have done this that we have covered two months of hosting fees. That’s huge, because it’s an indication that this podcast can be self-sustaining. If it is, then we can continue for as long as the audience is there. As long as you are there, Drone Law Nation.

Thank you all for your support.

Links for You:

Amazon Support Link

Taylor v. FAA Decision

Section 336 (search for “336” in the .pdf)

www.jrupprechtlaw.com

Our first talk with Jonathan Rupprecht

Our second talk with him Jonathan Rupprecht

The Pirker Case and FAA Drone Regulation

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Keep on Flying,

-Steve

Living In the Gray

Whecropped-logo-2048px.jpgn Part 107 came out last year, I wondered whether this podcast would still be useful. I wondered if it would still serve the purpose we started with – to clear up “drone law” issues that the world seemed confused about.

With the FAA’s regulations on commercial use *finally* coming out last August, I thought that the misunderstandings might clear up. That the confusion might die away. That the community would have less of a need for a clear, trusted legal perspective. At least in a podcast form.

Two recent events have convinced me that this resource is needed now, more than ever. They have shown me that the gray areas in drone law haven’t gone away. The confusion persists – just about different things than before.

The first thing that happened was in the “Drone Slayer” case. A federal judge “dismissed” a lawsuit brought by a man who’s drone was shot down in Kentucky. The lawsuit sought a ruling from the court that drones are aircraft, just like the FAA says (but no judge has agreed with, yet), and therefore shooting down a drone is just like shooting down a Cessna.

The dismissal of the lawsuit was disappointing. A real missed opportunity for the drone industry to get some clarity on this issue.

But the reaction to this dismissal? That shocked me. People were actually making comments to the effect that bringing the lawsuit was legal malpractice.

That’s so silly. So off the mark.

Comments like that are an indication of misunderstanding. And it is those kinds of misunderstandings that we are here to clear up.

The second thing that happened was news of Bard College putting out a list of local drone laws. The reactions I saw were predictable, though disappointing. The same old lines about local drone ordinances being illegal for some reason, or that the FAA’s “preemption” of local law would be automatic and easily predicted.

That’s not true. Not even close.

Everything out there is just shades of gray. Black and white answers don’t really exist.

All of that has convinced me that this podcast is still needed. That it is still necessary to continue providing you, Drone Law Nation, with the clearest and best information possible.

That’s what we are doing here today. And that’s what we will do every quarter.

We will see you again in July.

A Note About Support

Thank you to everyone that has clicked the “Support” link at www.dronelawtoday.com/support before doing your Amazon shopping. It costs you nothing extra, and a few pennies are thrown back our way. Enough of you have done this that we have covered two months of hosting fees. That’s huge, because it’s an indication that this podcast can be self-sustaining. If it is, then we can continue for as long as the audience is there. As long as you are there, Drone Law Nation.

Thank you all for your support.

Links for You:

Part 107

Who Owns the Air?

The State Drone Law Book

Amazon Support Link

Don’t Shoot That Drone!

Section 333 and You

The Pirker Case and FAA Drone Regulation

James Mackler Interview (“Government Drones” & the Boggs Case)

Professor Froomkin: Self Defense Against Robots & Drones

Troy Rule: Drone Zoning Paper (SSRN Download)

Our brief for Angel Eyes UAV in Huerta v. Pirker

Dismissal Order in the Boggs Case

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com or www.dronelawyers.com.

Keep on Flying,

-Steve

The Long Haul (and your questions)

Logo 600 x 600Drone Law Nation, we’re in this for the long haul. My law firm started its work with the commercial drone industry five years ago, when the FMRA first came out. Since then, it’s been a wild ride. We’ve grown with you, and you’ve grown with us. And we appreciate you all.

The mission of this podcast will always be to share the best information possible about the legal side of the drone industry. To do that, we are approaching this like a marathon. One we are running with you.

Starting this month, Drone Law Today is going to a quarterly publication schedule. This will ensure that we continue to put out the best information possible over the long haul.

In this episode, we talk a little about this and then jump right into your questions. You’ve sent in a lot of great questions, and we’re overdue for a “mailbag” episode.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us through Amazon. Your trust and support means the world to us. We are doing everything we can to honor that trust, to honor that support, and to right “shotgun” with you as you pioneer this industry.

Listen in for answers to your questions on the Skypan fine, Florida drone law, Super Bowl Drones, and much more. Thank you for being awesome.

Links for you:

FMRA (Search for “336”)

Part 101

Part 107

14 CFR § 107.45

The Police Drones Series

Who Owns the Air?

The State Drone Law Book

Amazon Support Link

Florida’s Drone Law

The Skypan Fine: Jason Koebler, Interviewed

The Skypan Fine: Recode Article on the Settlement

FAA Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com or www.dronelawyers.com.

Keep on Flying,

-Steve

Who Owns the Air?

Logo 600 x 600Who owns the air above your backyard? Do you own it? Why do you think so? Why wouldn’t you “own” it? What does “ownership” even mean?

Welcome to the weird world of “aerial property rights.”

We’ve talked about these issues before, most notably in the Drone Law Course from last year. The problem of aerial property rights came to mind this week, though, because of a conversation I had with Ian Smith of Commercial Drones FM.

Before Ian and I spoke on his podcast, he tweeted out a request for questions. The first one that came through was from that singular gentlemen and scholar, Jonathan Rupprecht, who asked us: “who owns the lower portion of the sky?”

That question is one of the hardest issues facing the drone industry, and he knew it! Ian and I were game for the question though, and talked through the issues at length.

In this episode, we dig deeper into that issue by highlighting the work of Professor Troy Rule. His article, Airspace in an Age of Drones, serves as the foundation for our episode today. Tune in for the latest, and for some potential ways to solve this difficult problem.

New – Support Link!

The best support you can give Drone Law Today is your time and attention. There is literally nothing more valuable – we appreciate every single one of you. The fact that you share the podcast, rate it, review it, and continue to listen is the reason we keep doing this show.

For those of you inclined to help us with the “hard costs” of producing this podcast (hosting, equipment, etc.), we’ve created an Amazon Affiliate Link at www.dronelawtoday.com/support. Clicking that link before you shop costs you nothing, and will help support our work here.

Thank you once again for what you are doing to make the drone industry great.

Links for you:

Troy Rule: Airspace in an Age of Drones

Troy Rule: Drone Zoning

The Drone Law Course

The Police Drones Series (Links to all episodes)

Commercial Drones FM Interview

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com.

Keep on flying,

-Steve

Fighting to Win

Logo 600 x 600Drone Law Nation, today’s episode is about fighting to win. Our guest today is David Daniel, the Executive Director of the UAS Association of Florida.

The mission of the UAS Association of Florida is to encourage the growth of the drone industry in Florida by fighting to prevent unnecessary and over-burdensome regulations.

And you know how they do that? Through professional lobbying.

We’ve talked before about the importance of professional lobbying to the drone industry. It is especially critical at the state level, as states are doing all sorts of things that may hinder the growth potential for drones.

The question before us is whether we want to be pitchers who control the game, or hitters who only react?

Professional lobbying means controlling the game. Pushing the agenda and changing the world by telling our own story.

If our story isn’t told by us, then who will tell it? If the grassroots base of the drone industry does not speak up, then the people controlling the narrative are those that know the least about it.

It’s time to speak up. It’s time to be heard. It’s time to join up and fight like mad for the things we believe in.

You want a drone industry that works?

Then saddle up.

Let’s do this thing.

Together.

Links for you:

UAS Association of Florida

Seth Godin: Pitchers and Hitters

Lobby or Die

Telling Better Stories

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com.

Keep on flying,

Steve

Times are Changing…

Logo 600 x 600Welcome back, Drone Law Nation! Today we have a bonus episode with some thank-you’s, reflection, and announcements of changes.

First, thank you all for an amazing 2016. We launched the Drone Law Course and the State Drone Law Book while continuing to introduce you to the people and ideas making the drone industry “go.”

We look forward to doing more in 2017, but to do that consistently we are changing the schedule.

Starting this month, the Drone Law Today Podcast will publish every-other-week. Our next episode will be on January 23.

Thank you for going on this journey with us since we started in 2015. We look forward to an awesome 2017, with more great things to share.

We have some great things coming out in 2017. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by getting on the email list. You can join it by downloading the Drone Revolution and State Drone Law books, or by submitting a question on our Question Collector.

Until next time, Drone Law Nation – Keep On Flying.

Links for you:

Drone Law Today YouTube Channel

Drone Law Course

Download Link to the Drone Revolution and State Drone Law books

Drone Law Today Question Collector

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com.

Keep on flying,

Steve

Police Drones & the 4th Amendment Part 10: Predicting the Future

Logo 600 x 600Welcome back, Drone Law Nation! Today we are back with the tenth and final part of our series on the Constitutional issues raised when police use drones.

Today we’re talking about the future. Through the lens of legal scholars who have written about these issues, we will take a look at what future cases might look like.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. Listen in for more about what the future might be.

Links for you:

Police Drones Part 1

Police Drones Part 2

Police Drones Part 3

Police Drones Part 4

Police Drones Part 5

Police Drones Part 6

Police Drones Part 7

Police Drones Part 8

Police Drones Part 9

U.S. Constitution: Amendment 4

Villasenor: Observations from Above

Farber: Eyes in the Sky

Ohm: Fourth Amendment in a World Without Privacy

Kerr: Equilibrium Adjustment Theory

 

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

Learn more about our law firm, Ausley McMullen, at www.ausley.com.

Keep on flying,

Steve