Yes, it's legal to fly over a neighbor's or stranger's property if you're not in an otherwise restricted area. The airspace above a property is an easement and, with rapid technological advances, the law cannot ignore citizens' privacy interests. If drones were allowed to invade private property without permission, all previous guarantees of privacy would be eliminated. You can take photographs or videographs at a tourist location, which is private or public if allowed there.
However, with the rapid growth in the use of UAS for commercial and recreational purposes, legislators and regulators across the country have begun to respond to public privacy concerns driven by the media. It will help you better understand the legal aspect of drones in general, something that anyone who uses drones for photographs or videos should know. With the money available and more and more people using drones to photograph, legal questions arise about what can be flown over and taken pictures. A highly publicized case of a Kentucky man who shot down a Phantom 3 that flew against his property was resolved without addressing the question of whether the drone was entering without authorization.
Drone photography and videographyare becoming big business, from real estate to special effects, such as simulating views from an airplane or from a bird's eye view. If this is a publicly accessible private property, you must obtain the owner's consent to take photographs or record on video. For photographers and journalists, investigating what can and cannot be legally photographed with a drone can be a slow process, he adds.
The question of privacy laws is not simple, since drone operators should be able to take photographs for artistic purposes and report events under the First Amendment, as long as the drone is kept below 400 feet. Some states have stated that critical infrastructure is prohibited for drone photography, even though photographing the infrastructure could very well be in the public interest. While local lawmakers are quick to draft laws that protect the public from intrusive drones, drone owners themselves can also expect much less anonymity in the future. While the Washington Supreme Court examined the question of how far this “envelope” extended, the Court ultimately determined that the public domain began above the minimum safe flight altitudes prescribed by the Civil Aeronautics Authority.
Affordable drone technology is now available to both professional and amateur photographers, and the use of aerial photography is now a standard part of the real estate listing process. As an expert in drone photography, I can tell you that there are certain considerations when taking photos over public property with a drone. It is important to understand your local laws regarding drones and privacy before taking any photos or videos with your drone. You should also make sure that you have permission from any private property owners before flying over their land.