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Analyzing Governor Brown’s choice to sign one drone bill, not others




A Parrot Bebop quadcopter drone flies at the Parrot stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015.
A Parrot Bebop quadcopter drone flies at the Parrot stand at the 2015 IFA consumer electronics and appliances trade fair on September 4, 2015.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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It’s now going to be that much harder for the paparazzi to use drones to aid in their work, thanks to new legislation out of Sacramento.

Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 856 on Tuesday, which creates bigger privacy protections for people against paparazzi who would fly a drone over their private property. The bill also changes the definition of “physical invasion of privacy” to also encompass anyone who flies a drone on private property to shoot photos or video.

Brown’s decision is interesting, however, because in the last several weeks, the Governor has rejected a number of other bills that would have changed drone laws. One of them would have made it a trespassing violation for someone to fly a drone over private property without permission. Several others would have prevented operators from flying drones near, prisons, schools, jails, wildfires.

What message is Governor Brown sending by signing one drone law bill but not the others?

Guests:

Steven Miller, practicing attorney and partner in the Public Agency practice at Hanson Bridgett, in San Francisco, California where he advises local government, manufacturers and users on drone policy. He also writes the blog hoverlaw.com

Greg McNeal, associate professor of law and public policy at Pepperdine University. He also co-founded AirMap, a company that provides safety software for drones.