Late last year the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared that all personal drones must be registered. This declaration was sold as a means to attach accountability to mishandling drones but as with all government declarations it was about the money. The FAA came down on a hobbyist drone operator because he posted his footage on YouTube. Because the operator allows YouTube to display ads on his videos the FAA said he was flying his drone for commercial purposes:
If you fly a drone and post footage on YouTube, you could end up with a letter from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Earlier this week, the agency sent a legal notice to Jayson Hanes, a Tampa-based drone hobbyist who has been posting drone-shot videos online for roughly the last year.
The FAA said that, because there are ads on YouTube, Hanes’s flights constituted a commercial use of the technology subject to stricter regulations and enforcement action from the agency. It said that if he did not stop flying “commercially,” he could be subject to fines or sanctions.
Now the operator has a choice. He can either buy whatever license the FAA requires for commercial drone operations or he can pay a hefty fine. I guess he can also be a good little slave to turn off YouTube’s monetization option since the State is only unhappy with you making money if it doesn’t get a cut of the action.
As always, when the State wants to establish accountability it means it wants to make the people accountable for handing over a chunk of their income.