Quick Links

Live Your Purpose


Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2014) -- Most people may think of the military or the government when they hear the word drone. Or they may think of the small models that individuals own. They might not think of the legal issues that come with an Unmanned Aircraft System, otherwise known as a drone.

But Dr. Daniel Skubik, professor of law, ethics and humanities at California Baptist University, does. He spoke Oct. 7 at the Riverside County Law Library in downtown Riverside as part of the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education programs for lawyers. He spoke on "Drones: Legalities, Practicalities, Myths and Facts." Skubik is an attorney specializing in international law. He also conducted research on drones in the fall of 2012 while he was on sabbatical at Zirve University in Turkey.

Skubik discussed the technical complexities of the devices, since what counts as a drone ranges in size from ounces to tons. Costs range from $100 to tens of millions, and they are being used by governments, as well as corporations and hobbyists.

"Anyone can build a drone. It's like building a model airplane," he said. It's the attachments, such as cameras or weapons that make them different.

Because of the variety of drones, there is a wide range of legal issues involved, from international and foreign affairs legalities to federal, state and local laws and regulations concerning their use, Skubik said. Possible legal issues domestically include trespass, nuisance and invasion of privacy. No commercial use of drones, such as by photographers, is allowed, though many do not know that, he said.

"The law is very rarely able to handle current technological issues. It's usually behind," Skubik said after the presentation. "I would like to see the law address these issues."