Drones are trending in North Carolina and throughout the country. While many people operate these advanced-technology devices as a hobby, some have found ways to turn their hobbies into income-earning opportunities. A 44-year-old man says he’d been making a lot of money selling photos to people when the state took the wind out of sails by ordering him to ground his drone. The situation has since led to business litigation, and the drone photographer in question has filed a lawsuit stating that his rights were violated.
The man was accused of surveying without a license
The Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors stated that the drone operator was criminally charged for conducting property surveys for clients without a license. The defendant said that he was doing no such thing. He has further stated that he was merely operating an aerial photography side-hustle and added a disclaimer in all of his transactions to inform clients that his photographs were not property surveys.
Drone pilot files lawsuit for violation of First Amendment
An attorney who is representing the drone pilot in court says that his client was merely providing videos and photographs as artwork for customers. He also says that there are similar cases pending on several other states.
This intersection of drone and surveying industries is complex and has sparked legal complications with surveyors being unable to use drones to their advantage because they do not have the necessary licenses to fly. On the other side, drone operators are being grounded for taking photographs and videos that can be used for mapping without having surveying licenses.
A drone operator in another state has achieved a compromise
A man in another state says he has been able to keep his drone in the air by sub-contracting his services in partnerships with surveying companies, although, he says, he would much rather be working on his own.
With more and more people becoming licensed drone operators in North Carolina and beyond, this issue is not likely going to be resolved any time soon. Any person or company considering business litigation to resolve a surveying or drone operation issue may seek clarification of state laws by scheduling a consultation with an experienced business law attorney before heading to court.