FAA says publishing drone footage to YouTube is a no-no

There are rules in place that allow the average consumer to fly small drones for personal use. Those same rules also stipulate that drones can't be flown for commercial uses without falling under more strict control by the FAA. The line that separates what is commercial use from what is a private use of a drone aircraft is probably not what most of us thought it was.

According to the FAA, if you fly a drone and use it to make a video that you then publish to YouTube; you could be in violation of FAA regulations. According to the FAA, since YouTube shows ads putting drone videos on the video sharing platform crosses into commercial use and people publishing these videos could be subject to stricter regulations and enforcement action from the FAA.

In fact, one drone pilot who has been positing videos he shoots with his drone to YouTube received a letter from the FAA warning him if he didn't stop publishing the videos, he might be subject to fines or sanctions. The FAA was tipped off that the man, one Jayson Hanes of Tampa, Florida, was using his drone for commercially.

The FAA then cited the YouTube site the man runs and stated that the complaint appeared to be valid. The FAA appears to be viewing any publishing of videos shot using a drone to any platform with ads as commercial use. That would mean publishing to any website or social network with ads anywhere would be viewed as commercial as well. An FAA spokesperson said that often people like Hanes are turned in by competitors, but it's unclear if that happened in this case.

SOURCE: Motherboard.vice.com