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The Media

Drone Camera Tornado Coverage Raises Press Freedom Questions 143

retroworks (652802) writes "In the latest tornado and storm tragedy to hit the U.S.'s south and midwest, small drone cameras steered by storm-tracker and videographer Brian Emfinger gathered stunning bird's-eye footage of the wreckage. Forbes magazine covers the [paywalled] Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's speculation that Emfinger has violated FAA rules which prohibit commercial use of small drones. The laws, designed years ago to restrict hobbyists use of model airplanes, may conflict with U.S. First Amendment free press use. So far, nothing in the article says that the FAA is enforcing the rule on the media outlets that may pay Emfinger for his video coverage, but interest in the footage will probably create a business economy for future commercial drone use if the FAA does not act."
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Drone Camera Tornado Coverage Raises Press Freedom Questions

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  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:19AM (#46888707)

    Has any storm chaser captured video when deliberately flying a drone INTO a tornado? Now that would be a sight t see!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:29AM (#46888775)

    Wasn't there a case recently that decided bloggers were functionally identical to official journalists in regards to freedom of the press? (aside from that detail being obvious with the quality of the news these days)

    Still, freedom of the press does not mean that they can get away with arbitrarily breaking laws. A press pass does not mean the cop cannot give you a ticket for going 174 in a 35 zone, and it should have no bearing here. Either the FAA enforces its rules here, or it forfeits the authority to oppress hobbyists RC aircraft owners.

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