"I see why you'd say that, but that is actually fascinating to me to hear your perspective and experience. Thank you for weighing in.
Can I ask you about how you draw the line between being in public and maintaining privacy? I realize that's going to sound like a much more loaded question than I'm intending, and for me, the answer is fairly common sense, but I'm hoping to get your viewpoint, because it could be the same, or it could be different, and I find a lot of value in that, we all have different experiences, values, and expectations, you may also know more legally than I do, actually... you likely do.
I want to enjoy myself, but I do also value not negatively impacting the enjoyment of others and am willing to suspend my enjoyment to that end. That's not to say I'm an angel and have never irritated anyone, I am not quite that naive.
I'll pose a situation, drawing on your example:
I fly around the lake, and I happen to notice you, if I stopped and (obviously and cautiously) approached you, and explained what I'm doing, my intentions, and gave a window of how long I wanted to do so, as well as at least offering to delete that first file, would that make a difference for you?
How about if I don't see you, you're never in frame, and I'm still only briefly in the air. Have I still impacted your privacy, and what is your expectation of privacy on public land?
Again, that sounds far more loaded than I intend it to be, I'm genuinely curious.
I would prefer to work out how to be responsible and respectful ahead of time, so that in practice I'm not a nuisance, while still attempting to enjoy myself."
OK let's start here. If you or I are on public land and doing legal things including flying the drone, what is my expectation of privacy? Personally, none if it is a fly by. Just like if you were taking pictures or a dashcam video. I'm in public and people take video and pictures. However, if your flyby stops and obviously take time to intentionally video my actions, although not illegal, is probably going to irritate me some as even though I'm in a public place, the intent of being in a secluded area is my expectation of some privacy, although not a legal expectation.
Essentially, in the United States the general rule is that anyone may take photographs including video of whatever they want when they are in a public place or where they have permission to take photographs. That is absent any legal prohibitions such as a statute or ordinance. So if you are flying in a public space ensure that you know if there are any restrictions for drone flights and videos. Private property is another matter and this may include paid entrance to public lands so again you have to check.
So think about a public beach and flying the drone out over the water but obviously filming the beach. Most are not going to care, some might but it is legal. I would not get into an argument with someone over it even if you are legally correct. But if you are obviously stalking a single individual or are drowning creepy taking videos of young ladies or such, you might find that someone will call the police on you not for public flight, and they might find other statutes that you have violated unknowingly. It's like taking upskirt photos in public, it is legal on the photographing in public rules, but violates other areas of the legal code.
There has to be a lot of common sense on your part as well. I mean do I want to be part of your home video collection or put on the internet if I'm out camping with my wife on the far side of the lake in a seclude but public area? Probably not. Is it legal for you to do so, by law yes. Can a confrontation occur? of course. If you capture something illegal are you still legal? yes. Is there going to be a confrontation? well if they are doing something illegal, do you think they care if they confront you?
There are a bunch of pretty good papers out there having to do with the rights of photographers. Simple internet search would help you there.
Now in your neighborhood. Every ones property is private. So the minute your camera pans across their property, you have probably violated the law, unintentionally or otherwise. So I would restrict flying it in your neighborhood to your own driveway and only limited height. Remember corner lots and dirt fields are not necessarily public property. City owned lots are not necessarily public property. And it is up to you to know where you are flying.
Don't forget that if your drone weighs more than 8.8 ounces it is required to be registered. Registration is $5 for a Part 107 registration. Go here if you your drone weighs more than 8.8 oz.
General rules for recreational flying:
- Keep below 400 feet AGL
- Your drone must be within visual sight at all times. If you can't see it, you are breaking the law.
- Never fly near other aircraft or airfields/airports/helo landing sites.
- Don't fly over top of people.
- Don't fly if you have been drinking.
- Don't fly around emergency response units (fire, police, military, etc.), they also have drones or real aircraft and have priority for airspace.
JGRubicon previously posted:
"Regarding what would I do with all that unused video, I've not worked that out, I had a brief foray into gopros around the hero 2 timeframe and what I found out is that editing video is a pain in the butt. So, my videoing will likely be fairly limited, and I will really only use what I splice together the first time to show to friends and family, and review myself as I have an awful memory. I've not personally gotten to the point of deleting media intentionally (my experience is primarily photography) and I actually have found more value in that, popping into a folder from 5 or even 10 years ago to take a stroll down memory lane. I have photos of my Nieces when they were babies, and videos of my deceased grandmothers and pets. I might dig out a video of my father's mother singing happy birthday for his birthday or something like that. What I'll do with or need anything I take from a sUAS for at this point, I can't even imagine. Say I'm out in the middle of nowhere and get a lot of images of a cirque or lake, and there's a landslide, or a dam brakes at a reservoir not long after... I could offer up that footage to the appropriate agency, I might have a view of something they didn't have from their own surveys. That's reaching, but not impossible.
More than likely, I'll do nothing with it other than browse it for my own amusement.
Thanks for humoring my inane questions, I do appreciate it."
I'm not suggesting not getting into this, like I said public space is public space. Posting it on the internet is also not a violation of photography taken in public. It's just like that goPro or a dashcam. How much do you archive vice record over. My dashcam runs when I'm on the trail because I switch it on. When I get home, if I have something interesting to share, I'll throw it out there. I don't have hours and hours of video on YouTube or some place else because that is not my thing others do. My dashcam is set to overwrite itself also, because again I don't really intend to keep it unless it is exceptional for some reason or other. So don't get me wrong, video is a great medium for recording events and may be of value if the situation is right (don't mean $$$).
Not sure I answered your questions, so take this for what it is worth, one man's opinion.