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Drone Lawsuits and Litigation Database - Interesting read

Otisangb

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Chip

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This is great case to follow for anyone interested in meaning of “surveillance” under state drone laws or 1st amendment right to fly drone to collect facts and images and report on newsworthy events. This is the case I was thinking of when we discussed the drone flight over that island cemetery in New York. The drone pilot very specifically argued he had a 1st amendment right to make that flight and report on the burial site. It may seem like a far fetched argument at first but if you read the document linked by Texbow it begins to make more sense.
 

Texbow

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This is great case to follow for anyone interested in meaning of “surveillance” under state drone laws or 1st amendment right to fly drone to collect facts and images and report on newsworthy events. This is the case I was thinking of when we discussed the drone flight over that island cemetery in New York. The drone pilot very specifically argued he had a 1st amendment right to make that flight and report on the burial site. It may seem like a far fetched argument at first but if you read the document linked by Texbow it begins to make more sense.
I looked at it like this. If it's ok for your local news to fly an area for a news report what is the difference in a freelance journalist flying the area for a social media (YouTube, Facebook, ?) story? Both are in the business of making money regardless of one being a much larger entity. It's back to government picking winners and losers.
 

Steve LaBranche

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Otisangb

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I looked at it like this. If it's ok for your local news to fly an area for a news report what is the difference in a freelance journalist flying the area for a social media (YouTube, Facebook, ?) story? Both are in the business of making money regardless of one being a much larger entity. It's back to government picking winners and losers.
Kind of a current analogy to ths. More and more police departments are going to radio encryption. So regular people can't monitor on police scanners. But many police departments are giving the encription codes to news services after the news services lobbied against the encryption.

The police departments are going to encryption because the thugs can now monitor the police on steaming services on theiir cell phones. Which i can understand why the policw want to go encrypted.

But what about freelance Joe journalist trying to make a buck chasing around Mayberry (now i'm dating myself) looking for the latest scoop. Which I also understand.

What to do and what is right I honestly don't know.
 

Chip

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Kind of a current analogy to ths. More and more police departments are going to radio encryption. So regular people can't monitor on police scanners. But many police departments are giving the encription codes to news services after the news services lobbied against the encryption.

The police departments are going to encryption because the thugs can now monitor the police on steaming services on theiir cell phones. Which i can understand why the policw want to go encrypted.

But what about freelance Joe journalist trying to make a buck chasing around Mayberry (now i'm dating myself) looking for the latest scoop. Which I also understand.

What to do and what is right I honestly don't know.
Thats a real interesting example. I enjoy listening to police radio on occasion. I had no idea there is push for encryption. It makes sense. But why should big news station get exclusive use of police encryption codes? Maybe little Joe Journalist with the mavic mini is more reliable reporter than KING FIVE with their fancy 🚁.
 

Otisangb

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Thats a real interesting example. I enjoy listening to police radio on occasion. I had no idea there is push for encryption. It makes sense. But why should big news station get exclusive use of police encryption codes? Maybe little Joe Journalist with the mavic mini is more reliable reporter than KING FIVE with their fancy 🚁.
I hear you. I am for the little guy. Look at fox and cnn. To get the real news you need to add them together and divide by 2. Unfortunately big news orgs (local and national) have the money to lobby. Money is is power. Poor Joe Journalist can only hope for a pro bono lawyer to fight in court. Unfair but thats the way it is. I am rooting for Joe journalist and his drone.
 

Davros007

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Kind of a current analogy to ths. More and more police departments are going to radio encryption. So regular people can't monitor on police scanners. But many police departments are giving the encription codes to news services after the news services lobbied against the encryption.

The police departments are going to encryption because the thugs can now monitor the police on steaming services on theiir cell phones. Which i can understand why the policw want to go encrypted.

But what about freelance Joe journalist trying to make a buck chasing around Mayberry (now i'm dating myself) looking for the latest scoop. Which I also understand.

What to do and what is right I honestly don't know.
Interesting RE police.
Here in Australia it was always legal to listen to police and the old cell phones. Scanners cover any bands. But it’s been illegal to act on what you hear or distribute it (hmmm... 5 tow trucks used to turn up to an accident...). So basically always been illegal for reporters to utilise. But now, all our mobile phones are digitally encrypted and I believe most if not all police encrypted. Any police officer giving the codes to the media would at a minimum be fired... Scanners here are pretty obsolete, apart from some fire and emergency services listening, and air bands. Everything else is just bzzzeeepoorerpaashepop!
Interesting as an aside: we don’t have all the odd different police departments like US, we have state and federal police, and military police. They are all heavily regulated and funded by state government and federal government- non of the US local Sheriff stuff or support by businesses etc.
 
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Brojon

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Thanks, this was a good read. Some of this is actually amazing an hard to believe its not fiction.
This is great case to follow for anyone interested in meaning of “surveillance” under state drone laws or 1st amendment right to fly drone to collect facts and images and report on newsworthy events. This is the case I was thinking of when we discussed the drone flight over that island cemetery in New York. The drone pilot very specifically argued he had a 1st amendment right to make that flight and report on the burial site. It may seem like a far fetched argument at first but if you read the document linked by Texbow it begins to make more sense.
Yeah - my take on that as a Texan is that the cattle people were concerned that the animal rights people were a PITA with pics showing "inhumane" treatment of cattle and other livestock. So they used their paid-for politicians to stick that in the law.
Then as usual you have the regular hysteria neighbors convinced people are peeking in their windows. My wife is a mod on NextDoor and she's constantly debunking these stories and even offering me to come by for a demonstration.
Anyway - I wish them success in their suit but likely all the legislature will do is carve out an exception for the news media.
 

Chip

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Yeah - my take on that as a Texan is that the cattle people were concerned that the animal rights people were a PITA with pics showing "inhumane" treatment of cattle and other livestock. So they used their paid-for politicians to stick that in the law...
I read an article which described the politics behind the Texas UAV law the very same way you did. I am feeling naive because I actually thought there was some lofty principle of personal privacy behind it! Here is a photo and some commentary excerpted from the article:

1590296276208.png
Drone footage of pig blood discharged into the Trinity River, lower left, in 2011. Photo source: sUAS News

EXCERPTS:

In 2011 someone flew a drone over the Trinity River and spotted a meat packing plant diverting pig blood into the river. The pilot took the footage to Dallas County authorities and, after an investigation, a grand jury returned 18 indictments against Columbia Packing Co. and two vice presidents. The company beat the charges — county officials trespassed during the initial investigation — but the case became a watershed example of how unmanned aircraft could be used for environmental activism, citizen journalism and media reporting.

Two years later, the Texas Legislature created a law that appears to make all that sort of thing illegal. The 2013 Texas Privacy Act specifically calls out drones for special restrictions. The law includes guidelines for criminal and civil punishments: a Class C misdemeanor “if the person uses an unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately owned real property in this state with the intent to conduct surveillance.”

"The real purpose of the law, the suit argues, is to suppress news coverage of potentially dangerous or embarrassing conditions at these sites of public interest. This includes, for example, the negative environmental impacts of some oil, gas and chemical manufacturing facilities."


My wife is a mod on NextDoor and she's constantly debunking these stories and even offering me to come by for a demonstration...
👍:)
 
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Chip

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I hear you. I am for the little guy. Look at fox and cnn. To get the real news you need to add them together and divide by 2. Unfortunately big news orgs (local and national) have the money to lobby. Money is is power. Poor Joe Journalist can only hope for a pro bono lawyer to fight in court. Unfair but thats the way it is. I am rooting for Joe journalist and his drone.
I know what you mean! Do not worry about the plaintiffs lawyers being pro bono though because they are impressive group. Check out their Press Release:

https://nppa.org/sites/default/files/Texas Drones Constitutional Challenge Press Release - Case Filed.pdf
 
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