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Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

FFS dude, they're all derived from common law; you realize you are grasping at straws here by trying to limit this now to Virginia... but ok fine... let's play your little game:



We have previously recognized that an action for common law trespass to land derives from the "general principle of law [that] every person is entitled to the exclusive and peaceful enjoyment of his own land, and to redress if such enjoyment shall be wrongfully interrupted by another.

Tate v. Ogg, 170 Va. 95, 99, 195 S.E. 496, 498 (1938).

We have also recognized:
[A] trespass is an unauthorized entry onto property which results in interference with the property owner's possessory interest therein. Thus, in order to maintain a cause of action for trespass to land, the plaintiff must have had possession of the land, either actual or constructive, at the time the trespass was committed. In addition, to recover for trespass to land, a plaintiff must prove an invasion that interfered with the right of exclusive possession of the land, and that was a direct result of some act committed by the defendant. Any physical entry upon the surface of the land constitutes such an invasion, whether the entry is a walking upon it, flooding it with water, casting objects upon it, or otherwise.
Cooper v. Horn, 248 Va. 417, 423, 448 S.E.2d 403, 406 (1994) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).

Significantly, for the purposes of this case, Virginia applies the modified common law rule applicable to surface water. Mullins, 226 Va. at 589, 311 S.E.2d at 112. Under this rule, "surface water is a common enemy, and each landowner may fight it off as best he can, provided he does so reasonably and in good faith and not wantonly, unnecessarily or carelessly." Id. (emphasis added; internal quotation marks omitted).
We observed in McGehee v. Tidewater Railway Co.:
Two general rules prevail in the United States with

emphasis mine. But let me repeat it here again for you:

"Any physical entry upon the surface of the land constitutes such an invasion, whether the entry is a walking upon it, flooding it with water, casting objects upon it, or otherwise."

Are we done yet?

If I recall correctly, you earlier cited criminal code as the law which may require the stricter test for the defendant to get jailtime over it, but trespass is also a civil matter; and he can definitely be subject to a lawsuit based on it.

Drone use may also fall under the nuisance law. I read another virginia opinion where 'dust and noise' from a neighboring property under construction was rejected as a trespass suit, but the plaintiff was invited to refile it as a nuisance suit. That said, I think drones still fall under trespass as the operator is in much more direct control over what the drone does, and the drone represents a real physical invasion in a way dust particulates don't. Of course, until someone actually takes one to court in virginia it will be an open question. But as a legal theory it is pretty sound.

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 1) 140

Also, how is paying close attention for an entire trip an unreasonable / unrealistic expectation?

People cannot sit there at the ready for hours on end.

If it was, it'd be an unreasonable and/or unrealistic expectation to teach someone how to drive, which involves the exact kind of attention as monitoring the autopilot system. Yet, millions of people do this daily without trouble.

No, actually driving; is a continual feedback loop that is completely different from sitting there "pepetually ready to drive but not actually driving".

Comment Re:Absurd fear (Score 1) 110

But how much does this actually happen? Do you need a video out port for that conference room weekly? Monthly?

Does it matter? The less often I need one the more likely I won't have it with me when I do. FWIW It happens often enough that if I could buy a macbook pro line with a few more ports I absolutely would.

In any case you seem to be 'moving the goal posts'.

And perhaps more importantly, how common is your job?

Pretty common.

I'd expect anyone doing anything substantially IT related would run into the same needs now and again.

While I personally have done customer facing presentations with my laptop; many of my peers who don't do that much still do presentations internally to business units, at meetings, etc. Would we all pay $10 more and put up with our laptop being 2mm thicker for a gigabit port, another USB port, and another video port type? Hell yeah. And 9$ of that 10 would still be profit for apple.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

There. I've quoted my law. Care to quote the law you've based your opinion on?

Heh, my opinion is based on the same law actually. Lets look at how lawyers, courts, and the legal system actually treat it...



For example:

Tiger, an avid golfer, goes down to the local course and begins to play. He intends for his first shot to land on the fairway and the shot lands perfectly in the middle of the fairway. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Tiger, the land that the fairway is on does not belong to the golf course. It belongs to Arnold. Tiger will be liable here because he intended for the ball to land on Arnoldâ(TM)s property. It is true that Tiger did not know that the fairway was on Arnoldâ(TM)s property but, for purposes of intent, Tiger did intend to hit the ball onto Arnoldâ(TM)s property. Therefore, he is liable.

As you can see from this example, the intrusion onto the plaintiffâ(TM)s land can be committed by personal entry onto the property, or it can be committed by causing some object (or another person) to enter the property. See Rogers v. Board of Road Commissioners 30 N.W.2d 358 (Mich. 1948).



Trespass to land occurs where a person directly enters upon another's land without permission, or remains upon the land, or places or projects any object upon the land.

Here's another... this time an actual appeals case:


Since 1981, the defendants have owned and operated a private golf course in Rehoboth known as the Middlebrook Country Club (Middlebrook). â In the late 1990's, the plaintiffs moved into newly constructed homes adjacent to the ninth hole of the course. â After moving into their homes, both plaintiffs discovered that errant golf balls struck by golfers playing the course came onto their properties with alarming frequency, and after unsuccessfully attempting to negotiate a mutually acceptable resolution with the defendants, the plaintiffs âsought injunctive relief and damages in the Superior Court. â After a trial without a jury, a judge of that court concluded that the defendants' operation of the golf course did not support the plaintiffs' nuisance claim, denied the requested relief, and directed entry of judgment dismissing the complaint.3 âBecause the recurrent entry by golf balls onto the plaintiffs' properties constitutes a continuing trespass, we conclude that the trial judge erred in denying injunctive relief âSee Hennessy v. Boston, 265 Mass. 559, 561, 164 N.E. 470 (1929); âFenton v. Quaboag Country Club, Inc., 353 Mass. 534, 538, 233 N.E.2d 216 (1968).

emphasis mine... plenty of others.

The criminal code as written has LONG been interpreted by the courts to treat a 'the person enters or remains on or in property of another' as including invasions by objects that the person controls.

At this point, I think you've got to agree with me that the drone can absolutely be ruled a trespass to land if it is low enough to violate the property owners airspace. What exactly that height is, is up in the air, but court precedent including one to the supremes give us property rights to at least 80'

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

I've seen it called "trespass" but it isn't, by any law.

It really is. Read the law.

Anytime someone causes a person or object to enter onto the property of another its trespass.

If your neighbor throws his empty beer bottles over the fence into your yard, he would be charged with trespassing.

Two kids throwing a ball and it accidentally landing in your yard is also a trespass. No prosecutor would ever charge them with trespassing; they're kids and they didn't intend to do it.

But age them up a few years, and have the neighborhood thugs on each side of you deliberately harassing you by throwing a football over your back yard... then yeah, they'd get charged with trespassing too. Even though they never set foot in the yard.

A drone is no different. Its trespassing. The only difference is that the operator isn't necessarily anywhere around. (And there is a grey area as to where your airspace rights begin; but there are some precedents establishing some rights for property owners at low altitudes.)

. If two kids playing throw a ball over a fence, the owner of the house can't shoot the ball, or the kids if they try to get it.

Of course you are right. But why would they have any need to shoot the ball? It lands in your yard, rolls to a stop, and then its pretty easy to retrieve. What possible reason would you have for shooting it.

Likewise, when the kids come to retrieve it; obviously you can't shoot them for simply trespassing, without warning, and even 'self defense' wouldn't stand up to scrutiny vs a couple unarmed 8 year old neighbor kids dressed in swim trunks retrieving their ball in broad daylight.

I'm not advocating shooting the drone drone for any reason *except as necessary to retrieve it*; so that it can be turned into the police. The shooting is not necessary to retreive the kids ball so its not permitted, but it IS necessary to retrieve the drone, so it should be permitted in that context.

And a permenant solution to a temporary problem is generally not allowed.

Basically, I am defending the owners right to seize the object, turn it into the police, and complain to the police about the incident. I think we mostly agree this is reasonable. And if the owner could seize the object without shooting at it, we'd probably be on the same page, more or less.

The sticking point is that without shooting it they can't retrieve it. I agree with you that shooting it is ... overkill. But if the alternative is "do nothing" and suffer the violation while the trespasser trespasses with impunity and without the ability for recourse -- that's not acceptable either. Thus overkill (especially since its an inanimate object) seems more reasonable than the alternative. Ultimately the object shouldn't be over the property, and if the owners can't be identified and the drone can't simply be grabbed, then bringing it down with the minimum damage and force possible... should be allowed.

Shooting it down, represents those minimums, unless you can think of something else. A garden hose might work in some circumstances, and would be preferable, but its doesn't have the range unless, and I doubt you could bring one down with a hose unless you could get within 15'. For an object whizzing along the top of your tree lines... or on a large country acreage... get real.

I'm just pointing out reality.

The reality is that a trespass really has occurred, AND its also illegal to destroy someone else's property.

And in general the courts have ruled that someones property trespass doesn't entitle you to cause needless damage to their property. (You cannot shoot someones car if they park it on your yard.) But, the argument here is that shooting it down is not 'needless' or 'vindictive' damage to the drone; it is incidental damage caused by retrieving the drone the only way that it can be realistically retrieved.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

You are right.

There are various scenarios where it becomes 'abandoned' and you can claim it. But its not as simple as wait 3 weeks and its yours.

Often you have to show good faith effort to notify the owner to pick it up; and failure to dot the i's and cross the t's in your jurisdiction for the precise circumstances of the abandonment it can bite you in the ass.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

In this case the shooter should have recorded the license plate etc and called the police.

But that is obviously not a general solution; since there is no general assurance that someone is going to see the drone.

Why does your need for revenge trump the rights of everyone else?

a) The rights of everyone else to fly a camera around my yard? I don't recognize that being anyone's right.

b) Its not a need for 'revenge' it is a need to stop the violation. I am NOT actually in favor of shooting them down; but I don't really see a better option out there. If you can capture the drone without shooting it great. If you can accost the operators fantastic. But if you can't... ??

c) These people drove out to Robert Duvalls house in the country set up a card table on a turnaround... to fly a drone, because what? They really wanted to play with their toy, and they couldn't find a public space? And it never occurred to them to just ask the owner of a farm if they could fly around? Give me a break. They were being offensive in their behavior; and were showing total lack of regard for others. They were not innocent victims.

Comment Re:Absurd fear (Score 1) 110

I don't get this; why care about the amount of ports?

The only place where you need any amount of ports, is at a desk right?

Generally speaking... no. I need a video out port in the conference room, and in customer conference rooms, and in hotel conference rooms. And i'd like to be able to just bring my laptop and have it work with the projector there; not have to remember a mini-displayport to something else adapter everywhere i go. (The 2015 at least has HDMI which is more usable.)

I need an ethernet port, and a serial port in the data closets and server rooms where the routers and switches are.

I need usb ports on the go in all kinds of situations.

The only place where you need any amount of ports, is at a desk right?

No. I a have a desktop computer on my desk. I practically never use my laptop at my desk.

Comment Re:The Change (Score 3, Interesting) 113

Indeed, that is also consistent with many theories of Bonobo/Chimpanzee species split and the attendant bifurcation of their social evolution (ie. why the Bonobos fuck and the Chimps fight). The Bonobos, being south of the Congo river (newly formed circa 2m years ago), had little climatic distress to deal with, while the Chimps to the north did, which is why they developed a much more aggressive social organization.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

You aren't allowed to slash all 4 tires to ensure it's immobile until you can call a tow truck to haul it away.

You can take its license plate down, record its VIN, take a few pics, etc. Also, the car isn't going to just up and leave unless the owner shows up. There is no need to 'immobilize' the car.

Now, 10 years from now when some kids hack an empty uber and set it to driving around in circles a farmers fields, you think it won't be stopped with force?

Perhaps throwing small rocks at the drone, or turning a hose on it would be appropriate. Something to indicate it's unwanted, but causes little to no direct damage (though may cause a crash, which would cause more damage).

So... birdshot a 30-50' is ok then?

The proper legal remedy is to follow it "home" and sue the owner.

How does that work? It moves faster than you, and isn't limited to passable terrain, fences, creeks, rivers, buildings...

Comment Re:Misleading (Score 4, Insightful) 140

Tesla's Autopilot functions at almost exactly the same level as an aircraft autopilot.

Except that most of the time an aircraft on autopilot is a mile or two from ANYTHING. Including the ground. And the parts of a flight where a plane is expected to be nearer to anything the pilot is paying a LOT more attention.

Mid-flight on a long haul, the pilot has to be there, and he has to be awake, but he can be filling out paperwork, reading aircraft manuals, checking maps, etc.

That's NOTHING like what a tesla driver can ever do. A tesla driver needs to be paying attention the same way a pilot does during an automated landing ... the ENTIRE trip. Not only is that completely different from an aircraft pilot, its also an unreasonable / unrealistic expectation.

Comment Re:Case Backwards (Score 1) 605

A drone can't trespass.

The drone isn't trespassing. The owner of the drone is trespassing. But you can't apprehend or warn someone that isn't there, but you can seize the property and turn it into police.

You must use appropriate care, or you are liable.

Agreed. What then is the appropriate care to bring down an unmanned unattended object hovering over your property out of arms reach?

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