Eyes in the Sky

There’s a common complaint that the law cannot respond quickly enough to keep pace with a changing world.  A recent column from Christopher Coble had me wondering if that is really correct.

Mr Coble noted that recreational use of drones presents issues concerning both property rights and privacy.  Both of these have been considered in long established caselaw.  The 1978 decision in Bernstein v Skyviews & General Ltd [1978] 1 QB 479 (Eng.) found that a landowner has only the rights needed for the ordinary and reasonable enjoyment of their land.  Further, the 1993 case of Bradley v Wingnut Films Ltd [1993] 1 NZLR 415 (NZ) concluded that a not-unlimited right to privacy exists in respect of unwanted filming (and, ex hypothesi, observation).

One could say that at least some of the thought going into regulating drone use at present is a case of reinventing the wheel.

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