The MPAA Is Lobbying For an Army of Hollywood Drones. Wait. What?

Illustration for article titled The MPAA Is Lobbying For an Army of Hollywood Drones. Wait. What?

You might not imagine the MPAA as a particularly drone-happy group, but new documents reveal that the actively lobbying the federal government for UAV drone use in domestic space. No, they aren't building an army to track down pirates; they just want filmmakers to be able to shoot with them.

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Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the MPAA, argues that drones are safer, cheaper, and easier to use for aerial shots than helicopters or cranes, and can be super useful for particularly crazy shots. Sure, some filmmakers are already using unmanned aerial vehicles for filming, but the legality of the issue is something of a gray area. The MPAA is pushing the FAA for full-on allowance of the practice so it can really "take-off" so to speak.

The main argument against this is that widespread commercial drone use could lead to all kinds of domestic spying, a privilege the government might like to keep to itself. Some states, like Florida for instance, are already working on laws to prevent exactly the sort of drone use the MPAA is lobbying for.

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Commercial drone use is a big can of worms, inside and outside of the movie industry. Currently, the FAA plans on starting to issue private drone licenses by 2015, but they've still got to work out the details of who should be allowed to get them. If the MPAA has anything to say about it, filmmakers will definitely be on that list. While they're at it, maybe they could put in a good word for fast-food delivery drones too. [The Hill via Fast Company]

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DISCUSSION

There is going to be some idiot who runs a drone into a private helicopter or commercial airline or small prop plane or something. Issuing private drone license is a bad idea for a multitude of reasons and illegal spying is just one.