Friday, November 07, 2014

Los Angeles is Apparently Hostile To Camera Drones and is Considering a Ban!

Phantom 2 with a GoPro HD camera targeted by LA politicians
Los Angeles, CA—City Council Members Tom LaBonge, and Mitchell Englander have moved forward with a request for recommendations from the LAPD and other agencies on restricting or otherwise banning civilian drones.
This is only the first step.  We will have to wait and see what develops and deal with any ordinance/s that they propose. 
Once they have a proposed ordinance it must negotiate the legislative process that includes public comment. 
We are certainly free to begin contacting members of the City Council now letting them know that the existing laws and FAA regulations are more than adequate to deal with any issues of public safety and privacy. 
We need to let them know that any knee jerk reaction to media hype may seriously infringe on 1st Amendment rights. News organizations, videographers, photographers, filmmakers have a right to gather and display their images.  
Any “Chicken Little” fears of our multi-rotor camera drones are unfounded and without merit. The fact is that the multi-rotor drones are in civilian hands worldwide by the hundreds of thousands.  To date there’s never been a death or serious injury reported anywhere.
Feel free to respectfully and politely contact the city council members and ask them to abandon efforts to ban or restrict our drones.  The benefits of this technology for the people of Los Angeles far outweigh any harm. 
They have already created a law to prevent drone abuse to celebrities by stalking paparazzi photographers. 
The council members really need to move slowly and intelligently as they watch how this new technology progresses.   Exploiting ignorance and the unknown is never good public policy.    
The Council’s contact directory is right here:
Here is a copy of the three page request for recommendations by the Council. 
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