Counter-drone technology: is it legal in Canada?

Many airports around the world (for example, San Francisco International Airport) are considering the installation of a drone detection system. These systems alert air traffic services and authorities of nearby drones in flight that may endanger aircraft on approach and/or departure. While technology that assists in the detection of drones is likely legal in Canada, the use of counter-drone technology to disrupt or interfere with drones in flight is generally illegal. This post will explore the most common counter-drone technologies and the statutory basis for their illegality in Canada.

Three of the most common (and all illegal) counter-drone measures include: 1) jamming devices, 2) software exploitation devices, and 3) physical disruption.

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Judge Convicts and Fines Canadian for Flying Drone Near Airport

On October 26, 2018, a Canadian man was convicted and fined for operating his drone within 30 feet of the approach path at the airport in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (Airport Station Code: YZF).

Toufic Chamas was convicted under s. 77(e) of the Criminal Code of Canada for endangering aviation safety near an airport through the operation of a drone and was fined $3,000. According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and as reported by the CBC, this is the first drone-related conviction of its kind under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Mr. Chamas’ sentence for the drone offence was jointly recommended by the prosecution and the accused to the presiding judge (known as a “joint submission”).

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It’s all about the copyright – why managing the copyright of creative works captured by drone should be top priority

The latest tool in a marketer’s toolbox – footage, stills and sound recordings captured by drone.

While so much time and effort goes into the creative process when shooting stills, sound recordings or action footage for marketing materials and other commercial uses, who owns the copyright to the stills, recordings and footage captured by the drone? While most would assume that it is the customer (the party paying for the work product), Canadian copyright law says otherwise.

In Canada, the general rule is that the drone pilot capturing the work product is the presumptive first owner of the copyright. The circumstances where this general rule governs (and where it does not) are discussed below.

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