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Is it legal to fly a drone with a go pro or something and take photos and video for commercial purposes?

This is what I found on the FAA website.

All UAS operations for commercial or business purposes are subject to FAA regulation. At a minimum, any such flights require a certified aircraft and a certificated pilot. UAS operations for commercial or business purposes cannot be operated under the special rule for model aircraft found in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.

http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/uas/uas_faq/

Many news articles say that the FAA will not really care.

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  • $\begingroup$ For non-commercial uses, a rc-controlled model aircraft, even a quad-copter, the FAA doesn't, yet. In fact, there are provisions which say that they cannot regulate them. For commercial usage, however, they do care. As you yourself have read, commercial usage precludes them being considered as model (hobbiest) craft. There is at least one on-going court case over FAA regulation or not. This being a legal question, I will not submit an answer, as I've already been bitten once. I would strongly suggest you (your lawyer actually) research fully. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Jun 23 '14 at 14:22
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Is it legal to fly a drone with a go pro or something and take photos and video for commercial purposes?

Yes, many news businesses think so

the numbers of drones licensed for commercial flights by the nation's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates the use of unmanned flying aircraft, shoots up -- from 30 in January 2013 to more than 300 today


Many news articles say that the FAA will not really care.

Most drone operators will not care too much what the FAA thinks. This is because the FAA don't have authority over most drone operations. This is mainly because they only really have authority in one country in one part of one continent. The FAA won't be arresting Mr 王 in 中国.

You can read what the FAA says about Unmanned aircraft.

When the FAA discovers apparent unauthorized UAS operations, the agency has a number of enforcement tools available to address these operations, including a verbal warning, a warning letter, and an order to stop the operation.

Which suggests the FAA cares, at least about commercial UAS operations in the northern parts of the continent of America which aren't Canada or Mexico.

They also have a FAQ

All UAS operations for commercial or business purposes are subject to FAA regulation. At a minimum, any such flights require a certified aircraft and a certificated pilot. UAS operations for commercial or business purposes cannot be operated under the special rule for model aircraft found in section 336 of Public Law 112-95.

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure your answer is formatted in a way that is ... I don't know if ethical is too strong ... The OP references FAA, which indicates s/he is interested in U.S. regs. Yet in your answer you start out with a YES answer, but the link is to the UK. It seems the answer is a qualified YES, not an unqualified one. The qualifications are set forth by the FAA. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Jun 23 '14 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell: The first link in the answer is to an article which is primarily from a UK perspective but does discuss the FAA and the situation in the USA. At the time I wrote the answer, although the body of the question mentions FAA, neither the question's title nor its tags mentioned a country or authority. So I suspect searchers with wider interests are likely to find this answer. $\endgroup$ – RedGrittyBrick Jun 23 '14 at 15:24
  • $\begingroup$ Here's the thing. Unmanned Aerial Systems, whether you call them drones, or hobby craft, are (IMHO) going to be subject to ever tightening controls/regulations. With the competing requirements of governments and the desires of the public at large over privacy, crime control, prevention, and airspace saturation (below x ft is uncontrolled (?) until two drones run by, say, amazon and google, collide and burn down an apartment complex), I don't see answers given to this question today being correct for months, let alone years. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Jun 23 '14 at 15:39
  • $\begingroup$ aand for the same reasoning, I can't see giving a broad legal opinion for anything other than one country. If you search rc-modelers forum there is a thread that is VERY devisive over perceptions and intretations of the laws that exist, just in the US. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell Jun 23 '14 at 15:45
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THE RULES HAVE CHANGED. This question should be deleted and re-asked.

The generally relevant rules for commercial drone piloting are found in 14 CFR 107. However, the prudent student will be reminded that there are other FARs which are relevant, including 14 CFR 91, NTSB 830 and for hobbists (non business use) 14 CFR 101 plus the rules of a CBO.

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