Contracting with Commercial Drone Operators in a New Legal Landscape
Is your marketing department planning on hiring someone to take aerial photography using a drone? There used to be no way to protect your business against the unknown risks of commercial drone use in an unregulated environment. That is no longer the case. There are a number of key contractual provisions that you should now include in any contract that will involve the use of a drone. A standard professional services agreement likely will not provide adequate protection against some avoidable risks of increased liability. Your Contractor must have drone-specific licenses and insurance—concepts that one year ago did not exist but that now are standard in the drone industry. You should contractually require your contractor to comply with all federal, state, and local regulations regarding drone operation and safety—again such regulations did not exist a year ago. You should also not ignore Intellectual Property and Privacy issues. Take a look at your standard indemnity clause and expand it to include drone-specific claims or losses. With a little bit of effort, it is now possible to contract with a drone operator and not expose your business to unnecessary risk.