This Article examines legal challenges confronting journalists who use drones to gather images. Initially, it traces the history of drones and the Federal Aviation Administration’s efforts to regulate them, as well as new state legislation that aims to restrict drones. This Article then illustrates that a wide array of legal remedies already exist for individuals harmed by journalistic drone usage, and it argues that calls for additional, piecemeal state laws to regulate drones are unnecessary and unduly hinder First Amendment interests in newsgathering and the public’s right to know. Furthermore, this Article asserts that the reasonable-expectation-of-privacy jurisprudence developed in aerial Fourth Amendment cases should be brought to bear in drone intrusion cases.
Clay Calvert, Charles D. Tobin & Matthew D. Bunker, Newsgathering Takes Flight in Choppy Skies: Legal Obstacles Affecting Journalistic Drone Use, 26 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 535 (2016)