FAA issues legal notice to FPV pilot putting footage onto Youtube

March 16, 2015 11:45 | By | Add a Comment

The FAA has begun going after RC flight videos on Youtube showing onboard camera footage. Jayson Hanes has recently received a notification ordering him to cease his “unauthorized commercial flights”. Failure to do so could result in fines as much as USD $10.000,-

This office has received a complaint regarding your use of an unmanned aerial vehicle (aka drone) for commercial purposes referencing your video on the website youtube.com as evidence. After a review of your website, it does appear that the complaint is valid.

Hanes insists that while his videos on Youtube are technically monetized, he has not received a payment from Google yet.

This does raise all sorts of important questions: When exactly does a flight become “commercial” in nature. It’s even worse in countries like Austria, where the law states that as soon as the intent of flight goes beyond the “mere flight itself” (i.e. you fly because you want to photograph a sunset from the air), you’re not an RC hobbyist anymore but must register and pay for your vehicle as a UAV.

That the FAA would not be going after Youtube videos was an assumption that is still maintained by a large number of enthusiasts. Once established, it will be very difficult to reverse such a legal interpretation.

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