“Historically, the air above a property was often considered to be part of that property,” fortune.com reports. “The U.S. declared anything higher than 500 feet public airspace in the 1950s. Those regulations were triggered in part by the 1946 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Causby, in which a chicken farmer sued the government to limit military flights over his property.” As yahoo.com asks Whose sky is it anyway?
When a small town American roofer took legal action against a neighbor for shooting down his drone, the local dispute sparked a case that could help shape the newest frontier of property rights law – who owns the air.
Drone owner David Boggs filed a claim for declaratory judgment and damages in the Federal Court after his neighbor William Merideth from Hillview in the southern state of Kentucky blasted his $1,800 drone with a shotgun in July last year.
Boggs argued to the District Court in Kentucky that the action was not justified as the drone was not trespassing nor invading anyone’s privacy, while Merideth – who dubs himself the “drone slayer” – said it was over his garden and his daughter.
After a year of counter argument, a decision on which court jurisdiction should hear the complaint is expected within weeks and this could set new precedents for U.S. law.
Given the possibility — make that certainty — of super-quiet government drone surveillance, armed police drones, celebrity spying drones and pervy drone operators, this is a big deal.
Even if the court rules that the airspace up to 500 feet above your house is yours to defend, I don’t think the good burghers of New Jersey and like-minded anti-gun rights jurisdictions will look too kindly on shotgun-related drone destruction.
But don’t worry! As the video above proves, net guns are a thing. Bound to get smaller and less expensive too. Not to mention electronic drone jammers, anti-drone drones and trained eagles. Yeah capitalism!