Drone U Podcast: The Case of the FAA and the Aerial Photographer

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Nov. 13 2013 5:58 PM

Drone U Podcast: The Case of the FAA and the Aerial Photographer

Every week on Future Tense, we highlight a talk from Drone U in which a leading thinker speaks about what our drone future may look like. Drone U is produced in cooperation with the New America Foundation. (Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University.)

This week, Drone U features a podcast from Brendan Schulman, a lawyer representing Raphael “Trappy” Pirker in the first-ever civilian drone litigation in the United States. Schulman discusses that case, as well as the recently released Federal Aviation Administration “roadmap” for the integration of drones into American skies.

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Trappy—who is known for his stunning aerial photography—faces a $10,000 fine for footage he took of the University of Virginia in October 2011 using a drone. The FAA asserts that Trappy violated the 2007 ban on commercial drone flight and further alleges that he operated the drone “in a careless or reckless manner.” Schulman, who represents Trappy as he seeks to dismiss the fine, explains his challenge to the FAA’s enforcement of voluntary standards against his client. (The case is still pending; the FAA has responded to the motion to dismiss here.)

Join us on Nov. 20 for the next episode from Drone U.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Timothy Reuter is co-creator of Drone U and the founder of the D.C. Area Drone User Group. He also works on issues of international development.

Nabiha Syed is a media lawyer in New York and a visiting fellow at the Yale Law School Information Society Project.  She is the co-founder of DroneU.

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