Navigating drone videos

Drone videos are becoming more and more popular.  

In fact the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates drone sales to triple in the next five years. There are strict rules for flying them, and you can get fined if you break them. But even watching these can get the video’s creator in trouble.

Curt Stewart who owns Emerging Media Productions said the next step in shooting video was in the sky. Stewart says, “I get a lot of pleasure from people being able to see the city from a different perspective.” 

But he says it requires a certain amount of sensitivity and caution, “They’re coming up with something new every day or changing something every day and nobody really knows with the whole spectrum of it is,” says Stewart.

That’s because the Federal Aviation Administration could cite a YouTube drone video as ‘commercial use’ which is illegal. Stewart, “We try and be careful with what we post on YouTube and the way we tag things. We don’t advertise the fact we’re flying a drone.”

Willie Kerns with Smartpath Technologies says anyone who posts videos to YouTube has the option to enable ads and turn a profit, but the consequences of it – Kerns says it’s something people didn’t even think about months ago.”I think that’s the whole drone issue with everything is where is the line drawn.”

Stewart says he’ll continue making videos, but be a little more cautious, “I figure if I get a cease-and-desist I’ll change up what I’m doing. I love Paducah, I’m from here and I love putting stuff together.”

The Federal Aviation Administration differentiates ‘commercial’  and ‘hobby’ drone use. The FAA does make it available to apply for an exemption to use your drone commercially, say if you were to getting paid to film a wedding.

Drone videos found to be for commercial use could be fined as much as $10,000. Drones are also banned from being used within a five-mile radius of airports and can only flown as high as 500 feet.  

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