You might not imagine the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as a particularly drone-happy group, but new documents reveal that the actively lobbying the US government for UAV drone use in domestic space. No, they aren't building an army to track down pirates; they just want filmmakers to be able to shoot with them.
Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the MPAA, argues that drones are safer, cheaper and easier to use for aerial shots than helicopters or cranes, and can be super useful for particularly crazy shots. Sure, some filmmakers are already using unmanned aerial vehicles for filming, but the legality of the issue is something of a grey area. The MPAA is pushing the FAA for full-on allowance of the practice so it can really "take-off" so to speak.
The main argument against this is that widespread commercial drone use could lead to all kinds of domestic spying, a privilege the government might like to keep to itself. Some US states, like Florida, are already working on laws to prevent exactly the sort of drone use the MPAA is lobbying for.
Commercial drone use is a big can of worms, inside and outside of the movie industry. Currently, the FAA plans on starting to issue private drone licences by 2015, but it still has to work out the details of who should be allowed to get them. If the MPAA has anything to say about it, filmmakers will definitely be on that list. While they're at it, maybe they could put in a good word for fast-food delivery drones too. [The Hill via Fast Company]