Over in the US, as long as your drone is registered and you’re not flying over someone’s private property or restricted airspace, you should be legally within your rights to operate your device. However over in Sweden, a recent ruling could have potentially killed the country’s entire drone market.
In a ruling handed down by the Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden, the authorities have effectively banned camera drone flights, meaning that if your drone has a camera attached to it, as is the case with most drones, flying them in the country would be considered illegal. This is because the ruling claims that drones with cameras are considered to be akin to surveillance cameras, in which you would need a permit to indicate that you’ll be using it to prevent crime or accidents, which obviously won’t be the case for the majority of drone owners.
Unsurprisingly many residents of Sweden aren’t too thrilled by this ruling. Some argue that if one is allowed to capture images in public places, what is the difference if it were to be camera when attached to a quadcopter, like a drone? To make matters worse, apparently there is no exemptions for journalistic use either, meaning that using drones to record a news piece won’t be allowed.
That being said, it seems that enforcing this ruling could be tricky as violations would have be reported to the police, meaning that if no one bothers to or if the police don’t catch wind of it, drone owners will still be able to fly their devices, which begs the point of why even bother with this ruling in the first place?