As the title of this site says, Photography Is Not A Crime.
Even with a drone. Even at a girls’ soccer game.
But that didn’t stop one ignorant citizen from falsely accusing a drone hobbyist of recording a girls’ soccer practice.
“You filming the kids’ practice?” asked an unidentified man sitting in a car.
“They might incidentally be on my camera in a public place, yes,” answered the drone hobbyist who posts on YouTube as Jonathan Hair.
“Well it’s illegal,” the man in the car falsely stated.
“Is there a crime that I’ve committed?”
As the ignorant man continued to harass Jonathan Hair for recording in public and accuse him of being a pedophile for no reason, Hair eventually walked away, saying “Okay, great, so I don’t care.”
Had the man called the police, he would quickly have found out that no laws were broken, even if the drone user was in fact recording children in public, as they have no expectation of privacy.
Hair did not mention where he was located, but wrote the following on Youtube:
Model aircraft are not a crime. This is a public field. I was out testing my camera and gimbal settings on my quad and hexacopter. I fly here often, as do many others. It is a safe and wide open area to fly. Look at my other videos for a view of the field.
I have been involved in model aircraft for 20 years, am an officer in our club, and have taught as a flight instructor. Anyone that has flown with me knows I fly in a safe manner. I made a point to not go anywhere near the other people on the adjacent field.
Anyone that has a problem with my flying can come and talk with me about it. So long as they don’t imply I am a pedophile it is likely to be a pleasant conversation.
I shoot with a gopro and Sony NEX5 with 16 mm lens. Not exactly spy material… I have the videos of my flight, but the GPS log tells the whole story.
Don’t feed the “drone” paranoia. Model aircraft are a hobby, not a spy device.
This incident is just the latest example of people freaking out on photographers and automatically assuming they are law-breaking perverts. Remember the woman who assaulted a teenager at the beach for aerial photography?
Learn the law, America. Photography Is Not A Crime.
Oh, and the drone hobbyist provided a map of where he was recording – he never flew over the soccer practice, and he has GPS logs to prove it. Calm down people.