Required Drone Registration Coming

Required Drone Registration

Drone owners will be required to register their aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) soon. The FAA’s drone registration task force is expected to finalize its recommendations for drone registration guidelines by Friday, November 20, 2015.

The FAA announced the creation of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Registration Task Force on October 29, and said its goal was to establish recommended guidelines for drone registration. During the meetings, members discussed “how an operator might prove a UAS is registered, how the aircraft would be marked, and how to use the registration process to encourage or require UAS operators to become educated on basic safety rules,” according to a news update on the FAA’s website.

The task force’s last meeting occurred on November 5 and they will finalize their recommendations for FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to review by November 20.

Drone safety rules are increasingly disregarded and officials have trouble tracking down rule-breakers under the current system. Pilots have reported more than 650 sightings of drones from the start of the year to August 9, despite it being illegal and dangerous to fly drones by planes or helicopters.

For more on this subject, check out these articles:


UNC J-School Professor Authors Book on Hot News in the Age of Big Data

9781593325008-Perfect.inddDr. Victoria “Tori” Smith Ekstrand, the director of communications for the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, has recently published a book, Hot News in the Age of Big Data: A Legal History of the Hot News Doctrine and Implications for the Digital Age (LFB Scholarly).  

Ekstrand is an expert on the hot news doctrine, a part of unfair competition law that protects the facts of news for a short period. Her book examines the doctrine’s nearly 100-year history and its continued ability to preserve the economic value of news and information for its creators. Though declared dead by some, Ekstrand argues, the doctrine is very much alive as common law and has significant implications for the new age of big data.

Dr. Ekstrand is an assistant professor in the School of Media and Journalism at UNC and a former executive for The Associated Press in New York City.

Congratulations, Tori!


Meet Maria Mullis, the Winner of Our #uncfree Instagram Contest


“Freedom of speech for my inner rebel. Freedom of press for my inner journalist.” — Maria Mullis, UNC ’17

UNC student Maria Mullis is the winner of the 2015 #uncfree Instagram Contest. The contest was part of Carolina’s seventh-annual First Amendment Day celebration, which is designed to both celebrate the First Amendment and explore its role in the lives of Carolina students. Anyone who filled out an “I believe in the First Amendment because…” mini poster, took a picture with/of the poster, and posted it to Instagram with the hashtag #uncfree on First Amendment Day was eligible to win. 

Maria posted, “I believe in the First Amendment because… Freedom of speech for my inner rebel. Freedom of press for my inner journalist.”  Her winning photo and caption earned her a First Amendment Day t-shirt, a $20 Starbucks gift card, and a chance for her quote to be featured on next year’s First Amendment Day t-shirt.  

Maria is a junior from Norwood, N.C., double majoring in public relations and political science. She has always been interested in politics, and coming to UNC has developed her interest in public relations. For her, the two majors mesh well and combine both her interests and ideal career options. After UNC, Mullis would like to attend law school. She is interested in the prospect of doing a dual-degree program. Mullis is still deciding which area of law she is interested in, but is considering media law, entertainment law, and constitutional law.

First Amendment Day is organized by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. The center is a collaboration between the School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law. Generous funding for the day’s events is provided by Time Warner Cable.

Congratulations, Maria! 


First Amendment Day Events


Carolina’s seventh-annual First Amendment Day celebration will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. You can view the full schedule of events here. 

Organized by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy, this year’s festivities will include a banned-book reading by Chancellor Carol Folt; a First Amendment trivia contest; and a keynote address by Danielle Keats Citron, a legal scholar who has written extensively about hate crimes in cyberspace — especially those targeting women. There also will be a panel discussion at which UNC student journalists will discuss their problems covering UNC athletics. Steve Kirschner, the senior associate athletic director for communications at UNC, will be on the panel to respond. At a second panel discussion, students and others will discuss the symbols of the South that have created a firestorm of opinion about their meaning and their impact on students. The panelists will explore the law regarding these controversial Southern symbols and the activism surrounding symbols of the South.

Generous funding for the day’s events is provided by Time Warner Cable.


UNC media law graduate publishes in Communication Law and Policy

Pic 2UNC media law graduate Kevin Delaney has had an article published in Communication Law and Policy.  The article is “Balancing in Light of the Purposes of Copyright: Whether Video Music Lessons Constitute Copyright Infringement.”

The article addresses the question of whether it is a violation of copyright law for an individual to create and upload to the Internet a video music lesson in which the creator teaches viewers how to play a copyrighted song. The article argues that the defense of fair use should protect creators of video music lessons from liability in a copyright lawsuit, and specifically that video music lessons further the objective of copyright law – to promote learning.  The article says, in part, “Because video music lessons promote copyright’s aim of creating a more informed populace, our copyright laws should encourage – not detract – from the creation of such works.”

This is the citation for the article: Kevin Delaney, Balancing in Light of the Purposes of Copyright: Whether Video Music Lessons Constitute Copyright Infringement, 20 Comm. L. & Pol’y 261 (2015).

Kevin wrote the article for a course in the UNC School of Law called Copyright and the Music Industry in the Fall of 2014.  In May he graduated from UNC’s dual-degree program, earning a master’s in mass communication and a J.D.  He now works for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Congratulations, Kevin!