Understanding Copyright For Drone Work

How does understanding copyright help you as a drone pilot? If you provide drone services, chances are that the products you provide are based on photographs and video. Understanding copyright of the media you produce is very important, and often times, confusing.

Understanding how you get copyright, what is copyrightable material, and who owns the copyright on the media you produce should be something every drone pilot knows, since it applies to both professionals and hobbyists. Knowing what to do with copyright is equally important.

Many people think that copyright only comes into play if someone steals your work, but that’s not true. Some pilots give up their copyright without even knowing it when they agree to the “Terms and Services” on some websites. Many pilots don’t know that working as an employee, verses, working as a contractor can automatically determine copyright ownership. And there is plenty of confusion about who owns copyright after the work is paid for.

Imagine getting a letter from an attorney informing you that you are infringing his client’s copyright by using pictures YOU took, with YOUR drone, on YOUR website. What action could you take if a client downloaded the proofs you sent, and used them without paying your bill? Is it acceptable for people to use your pictures and videos just because you posted them on social media? When you understand the basics of copyright, you have many of the questions associated with copyright issues answered, and you know how to proceed.

The intricacies of copyright are best left to the professionals that practice law in that area. But an understanding of the basics is a must for all drone pilots. We sat down with an intellectual property attorney who specializes in aviation, and produced a video on the subject. This is not a replacement for legal counsel for your specific issue but it is a helpful starting point. It should be worth the 45 minute watch.

Disclaimer and Terms of Service

The following presentation is intended only as informational material regarding United States copyright law. The content of the presentation shall not be considered as legal advice for any particular situation or transaction. Watching and/or listening to this presentation does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Click Here to Download Your PDF “Service Agreement and Assignment of Copyright” Document

Click Here to Download Your PDF “Agreement and Assignment of Copyright” Document