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In Canada, flying a drone is not something you can just go out and do... you need a pilot's certificate (basic or advanced, depending what you are planning on doing with your drone) to be allowed to fly your drone.

Would legal questions about drones be a good fit for this site, or should they be directed toward the Law stack?

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14

That's a good question.

There are many StackExchange sites with overlapping scopes.

Most of the legal experts at the Law StackExchange, will not have dealt with drones law specifically, so they would have to do research to find the answer.

However, many people owning drones will be familiar with the laws that apply to them. So, although there's not yet been a single question on the site because it's brand new, I anticipate that you will get the answer faster here.

Also, more of the users here will be interested in your question about the legality of drones (and its answer) than on the legal stack exchange which deals with divorce law, corporate law, criminal law, international arbitration law, etc., more than it deals with drones law.

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The best way to find out during private beta is to ask a question and see how people react -- that's one of the purposes of private beta.

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    This is generally what we recommend! I've found, in my time growing beta sites, that making rules before you know what the result will be is sometimes an iffy thing. It's good to see what happens and see if they can work before deciding one way or another. – Catija Apr 14 at 19:53
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For other SE sites, the general rule of thumb is that a question that intersects the relevant topics can be on-topic. So a question like Is it possible to get a FAA Part 107 drone license if one has had a pilot license revoked or suspended? is on-topic because we're asking about drone pilot licensing, which is all but baked into the URL as on-topic.

A question like this would be off-topic

How do I prove that I was licensed to fly that drone?

Yes, you were flying a drone, but you could drop the drone part out and now we're fully into legal territory (and this might not even be on-topic for Law.SE, since you probably need actual legal council there).

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(Shameless copy-pastaing my comment from a similar question in the commitment phase)

Yes, those questions are very on-topic. Simple clear-text distillations of complex ideas is one of the things that Stack Exchange excels at. "How should I interpret a sign which says...?" or "is X considered a drone in this country/state...? or "is there legal precedence in country X for the application of regulation Y" are all perfect versions of easy questions with either extremely nuanced or hard to find answers.

An analog is that many questions on the SE Home Improvement site, https://diy.stackexchange.com/, either have directly to do with building/plumbing/electrical code or have answers which are modified pursuant to local codes (e.g. how much vertical space do you need between a sink drain and a sewage pipe).

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As I posted as a comment on a "legal" question on the site, I'll give three good reasons why we should not be entertaining legal type questions on the site:

  1. What is legal where you are may not be legal at the question asker's location. This leads to the question either becoming too broad to answer, or will be so narrowly focused, it won't be of much use to anyone else.
  2. Laws change all the time. What may be legal today may not be legal tomorrow. Who is going to keep up with the laws to ensure they are kept up to date on the site?
  3. Most of us on here (yes, this is an assumption) are not lawyers. We should not be proffering legal advice or be trying to interpret what the laws are ... While we may not be putting ourselves or StackExchange in danger of legal retribution, what happens when someone gives the wrong advice and the question asker gets in trouble for it? I personally don't want to see that happen. For many subjects on here, things do become outdated. That is a given. If you give advice about a motor which becomes outdated, what is the worst which can happen (within reason)? A drone could fall out of the sky, then someone has to pay to get it fixed? If there is a problem with legality issues, if interpreted wrong or whatever, it could cost someone hugely in legal fees, or at the very outside could even cause them to be locked up behind bars. To me it is that serious.

Answering these types of questions are akin to purchase recommendation questions for reasons 1 & 2 above. They fall right into the same category.

For these reasons, legal advice, or advice on what the local laws are or state, should be considered off-topic for this (and almost any other) Stack.

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    I disagree, hence the downvote and will address each point separately: 1) If the asker doesn’t specify their country/location, it will need to be closed as too broad (most likely) or clarification is needed. This can be of use as someone else in the same country could also about the same question. 2) It would be the responsibility of the individual to either re-ask or seek clarification. 3) It would also be the responsibility of the individual to check the authenticity of this advice and hopefully the person who answered the question listed official sources – Xnero Apr 15 at 21:38

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