Commercial Drones and the Phantom Menace

Forthcoming, Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law (Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute)

35 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2014 Last revised: 13 Mar 2015

Timothy M. Ravich

University of Central Florida, College of Health and Public Affairs

Date Written: June 15, 2014

Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) — commonly referred to as “drones” — get a lot of bad press. Their operations are portrayed as a clear and present danger to privacy and property rights — the constitutional equivalent of falsely shouting “fire” in a crowded theater for First Amendment purposes. In regular conversation, the pejorative “drone” is used instead of the proper “UAV” to connote danger, imminent and otherwise. This is understandable given the technology’s military origins. “Drones” are hunter-killer robots with scary names like “Predator” and “Reaper.” They are scary “smart” with robust intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance capabilities. In the “war on terror,” they stalk human beings with indefatigable persistence and kill them with “Hellfire” missiles. Unfortunately, this context overshadows the many civil and commercial uses of UAVs, including natural gas pipeline monitoring, agriculture remote sensing, and aerial cinematography. This article is the first to examine the current UAV regulatory environment as applied to the media and entertainment industry.

Keywords: drones, uav, uas, unmanned aerial vehicles

JEL Classification: L82, L90, L93

Suggested Citation

Ravich, Timothy M., Commercial Drones and the Phantom Menace (June 15, 2014). Forthcoming, Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law (Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2534821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2534821

Timothy M. Ravich (Contact Author)

University of Central Florida, College of Health and Public Affairs ( email )

Department of Legal Studies
HPA 1, Suite 343
Orlando, FL 32816-2200
United States
407-823-1670 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cohpa.ucf.edu/directory/timothy-ravich/

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