LW Articling Student Diana Marina Cooper Reports on her Participation in the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference at NYU Law
On October 11-13, I had the opportunity to participate in the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC) at NYU Law. A multidisciplinary group of participants including lawyers, academics, makers, entrepreneurs, technologists and investors convened to discuss all things drones – and of course, watch some cool flying robot demos and get a chance to play with drones!
I served as Chair of the Drones and the Future of Public Space roundtable which hosted Peter Asaro of the New School, Stuart Banner of UCLA School of Law, Woodrow Hartzog of Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Marcel LaFamme of Rice University, Greg McNeal of Pepperdine University, Paul Voss of Smith College’s Picker Engineering Program, and Greg Lindsay of the World Policy Institute, who served as moderator.
Our roundtable explored airspace regulation, with a view to the upcoming approval of commercial licenses by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as of 2015. The questions we tackled include: How should the law conceptualize “public space” in relation to drones? In what contexts should the law privatize or enclose portions of the “public highway” in favor of protecting privacy rights? And, should there be restrictions on the use of thermal, infrared, millimeter, or other advanced sensor technologies in the airspaces around public and private spaces?
With exciting applications on the horizon including drone journalism, surveying disaster areas, and coordinating delivery of medical supplies, it’s critical that the FAA strike the right balance in ensuring safety and privacy, while enabling broad innovation and diffusion of drone technologies.
The Conference organizer, the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at NYU Law along with its partners, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University, the American Assembly at Columbia University, and the MacArthur Foundation will be continuing the work initiated at DARC by launching a website that will serve as the go-to place for learning about and contributing to the development of drone law and policy. On behalf of LaBarge Weinstein LLP, I’m excited to contribute to this ongoing project, through providing insights on the Canadian experience with commercial regulation and licensing of drones (that’s right, we got commercial drones here first)!
By: Diana Marina Cooper