Kennedy G.,Hogan Lovells
Computer Law and Security Review | Year: 2012
This column provides a country by country analysis of the latest legal developments, cases and issues relevant to the IT, media and telecommunications' industries in key jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region. The articles appearing in this column are intended to serve as 'alerts' and are not submitted as detailed analyses of cases or legal developments. © 2012 Eliza Mik. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Murtagh L.,Hogan Lovells |
Gallagher T.H.,University of Washington |
Mello M.M.,Harvard University
Health Affairs | Year: 2012
Under "disclosure-and-resolution" programs, health systems disclose adverse events to affected patients and their families; apologize; and, where appropriate, offer compensation. Early adopters of this approach have reported reduced liability costs, but the extent to which these results stem from effective disclosure and apology practices, versus compensation offers, is unknown. Using survey vignettes, we examined the effects of different compensation offers on individuals' responses to disclosures of medical errors compared to explanation and apology alone. Our results show that although two-thirds of these individuals desired compensation offers, increasing the offer amount did not improve key outcomes. Full-compensation offers did not decrease the likelihood of seeking legal advice and increased the likelihood that people perceived the disclosure and apology as motivated by providers' desire to avoid litigation. Hospitals, physicians, and malpractice insurers should consider this complex interplay as they implement similar initiatives. They may benefit from separating disclosure conversations and compensation offers and from excluding physicians from compensation discussions. © 2012 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
News Article | December 14, 2015
The Federal Aviation Administration issued rules today that will require all drones to be registered with the federal government by February of 2016. The "registration rule" was announced by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx back in October, and we learned in broad strokes what the rule would look like last month after an independent task force established by the FAA issued its recommendations. Monday, the FAA released its final rule, which will become effective December 21—just days before an estimated 1 million people open up a drone as a Christmas present. The FAA will require every person who owns a drone to pay $5 to register it on a website. People flying strictly for hobby purposes will have to pay a total of $5, regardless of how many drones they own. The FAA says that those caught flying without registering a drone can face civil penalties of up to $27,500 and criminal fines of up to $250,000 and/or up to three years of prison time. Registration is free during the first 30 days of the program. While there was initial pushback against the idea of the federal government requiring the registration of all drones (while it doesn't require the registration of, say, guns), most in the industry seem to agree that registration will ultimately be a good thing for the hobby. The FAA tends to exaggerate the number and severity of instances in which drones are flown dangerously, but it is true that many people do fly them quite recklessly—a drone fell on a baby back in September, for instance. Often, that's a matter of ignorance, as there's nothing stopping someone from unwrapping a Phantom 3 for Christmas and immediately flying it as high as he or she can over crowds of people. The fear is that a drone will crash into an airplane or fall on someone’s head. The hope is to inform people about safe flying practices during the registration process, which will keep people from flying like idiots, which will improve the overall safety of the national airspace, which will keep people from looking at drones as a scourge. Theoretically. That said, there are many reasons to question whether or not the FAA is going about this in the proper way. The task force recommended that drone registration be free; the FAA says it's statutorily required to charge people to pay. The FAA says it will use the money to offset costs for the program, which it estimates will cost $383 million. If you can afford a drone, you can probably afford the $5 it costs to register it. But with payment comes many more potential pitfalls. I read the FAA's 211 page explanation of the regulation, and there are still lots of questions—some of which cannot be answered by a PDF file. Will the site be secure? Will it be functional? Will it be encrypted? How will the data be stored? Will the FAA store your credit card data? Will it use a third-party payment system or develop one in-house? How are people going to learn about the program? Will manufacturers put a note on or in the box? How will people who already fly drones but aren’t closely tuned in to the community learn about this? Is the FAA really going to fine a teenager $27,500 or put him in jail if he didn't know he was supposed to register his drone? “One of the challenges to get people to go do it. The details aren’t surprising, but I think we'll have to see how it goes with implementation,” Lisa Ellman, a drone-focused attorney at Hogan Lovells law firm told me. “The challenge will be getting the word out in a way that makes for a successful program.” These are questions the FAA hasn't answered—it only says that payments will be accepted using a "web-based registration application process" and that it will accept all major credit cards, prepaid gift cards, debit cards, and check or money order. The FAA hopes to launch this entire web-based system before Christmas. Expecting the government to set up a user-friendly, functioning, multi-million dollar web portal and database in the matter of two months—assuming the agency got started on it as soon as the program was announced in October—seems optimistic. I’ve never had many problems with the FAA’s website, but its databases are difficult to search and are certainly not user-friendly. Other sites that have been rushed out, like Healthcare.gov, have been barely functional at launch. Everything about this process has been rushed—the FAA admits it in the report and official regulation it released Monday. There's not even time, it says, to have a normal commenting period for the public to weigh in on this “interim final rule.” "The FAA has determined that it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest in ensuring the safety of the [national air space] and people and property on the ground to proceed with further notice and comment on aircraft registration requirements for small unmanned aircraft before implementing the streamlined registry system established by this rule," it wrote. "The public interest served by the notice and comment process is outweighed by the significant increase in risk that the public will face with the immediate proliferation of new small unmanned aircraft that will be introduced into the [national air space] in the weeks ahead." The FAA appears to have tried to make this process as easy as possible—it says registration will take no more than five minutes. That's great, if it ends up being true. Whether the FAA gets it right is another question altogether.
That's when rules kicked in that free them from having to request special permission from the federal government for any commercial drone endeavor - a waiver process that often took months. Although industry experts say the Federal Aviation Administration's new rules on commercial drones largely make it easier for companies to use the unmanned aerial vehicles, there are still a lot of constraints. Here's what you need to know. WHAT DO THE RULES SAY? Under the new commercial-drone rules, operators must keep their drones within visual line of sight - that is, the person flying the drone must be able to see it with the naked eye - and can fly only during the day, though twilight flying is permitted if the drone has anti-collision lights. Drones cannot fly over people who are not directly participating in the operation or go higher than 400 feet above the ground. The maximum speed is 100 mph. Drones can carry packages as long as the combined weight of the drone and the load is less than 55 pounds. Before Monday, people needed a pilot's license to fly a commercial drone. Under the new rules, people over age 16 can take an aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved facility and pass a background check to qualify for a remote pilot certificate. WHAT IF COMPANIES HAVE PLANS THAT WOULD BREAK THOSE RULES? Businesses can apply for a waiver of most of the operational restrictions as long as they can prove their proposal will be safe. The FAA has already approved 76 such waivers, most of which involve commercial operations at night, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told reporters Monday. The new set of rules "just standardizes the exemption process and lowers the barrier to entry," said Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. But, he said, the new waiver process will probably help regulators understand how companies want to use drones beyond these initial, limited regulations. That could one day lead to rules for more complex drone operations, such as those proposed by Amazon or Google. WHAT TYPES OF INDUSTRIES WILL BENEFIT MOST FROM THESE RULES? Real estate, aerial photography, construction and other industries that want to use drones for basic functions, such as taking a few photos or videos of a property, probably will benefit the most because their plans align more closely with the regulations, industry experts said. But companies with more ambitious or capital-intensive plans, such as oil and gas firms that want to investigate pipelines, or farmers that want to look at large fields, will largely be limited by restrictions such as the visual line-of-sight rule. Even security companies that want to have drones patrol after dark will need to apply for a waiver if they want to operate. Although the new rules allow drones to carry loads, the visual line-of-sight rule and the weight restriction will keep more ambitious companies with plans for long-distance travel, such as Amazon, from making significant deliveries that way. WILL THESE RULES LEAD TO A HUGE INCREASE IN COMMERCIAL USE OF DRONES? The FAA thinks it might. The agency has predicted there could be as many as 600,000 drones used for commercial operations during the next year. As of Friday, it said, there were only 18,940 registered for commercial purposes. But it's hard to tell because the industry is so new, Holland Michel said. The elimination of the pilot's license requirement lowers the barrier to entry - operators just need to get their remote pilot certificate and register their drone - but it's not clear whether users will think it's worthwhile to invest in drone operations with the current restrictions, he said. Gretchen West, senior advisor at law firm Hogan Lovells and co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance advocacy group, said she expects to see an uptick in use once the rules take effect. But regulations are only one obstacle to wider adoption of commercial drones, she said. Many enterprise companies are averse to risk, and issues surrounding privacy and public perception still need to be addressed. "There's still a lot of challenges we have to overcome as an industry to prove the value of drones, even outside the regulatory environment," West said. Explore further: FAA streamlines rules to speed up permits to fly drones (Update)
Following a major milestone for the domestic drone industry last week, industry insiders are expecting a big uptick in dollars invested in U.S. drone-tech companies — just maybe not an immediate one. As we previously reported, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration implemented Part 107, or Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems rules, bringing some eagerly awaited clarity to the industry. The regulations don’t allow for commercial use of drones at night, flying of drones over people or flying of drones beyond the visual line of sight. Companies still have to seek ad hoc exemptions from federal authorities to do these things for business purposes. Depending on how quickly the DOT, FAA and other relevant offices can evaluate exemption requests and grant them, the Part 107 rule could actually slow the roll out of anything like drone delivery services, or pervasive use of drones for news gathering, surveillance or inspections in populated areas and at night. Global UAS Practice co-chair at the D.C. law firm Hogan Lovells, Lisa Ellman, also a co-executive director of the Commercial Drone Alliance, said: “Of course, Silicon Valley is operating at lightning speed and D.C. is operating at the pace of bureaucracy… But it’s understandable in ways because the FAA, DOT and others need more information before they can draft regulations.” In this next cycle, she said, she wants to see drone tech and service providers step up and provide all the data they can to regulators, but also to the public, so that people can learn more about the potential benefits of drones. Ellman believes that even the Part 107 rules as they stand today will help open the doors for more innovation and investments in the field, especially around drone-tech education and safety-related technologies. Menlo Ventures’ Managing Director Venky Ganesan, an investor in Flirtey, the delivery drone-tech venture, and DeDrone, a maker of drone detection systems, agreed. “With clarification about the rules of the game, investments flourish in any industry. Once people know what the rules are they can decide how to play it.” Ganesan expects investment in vertical, or industry-specialized drone-tech startups and drone services, to ramp up directly as a result of Part 107. “Nobody wakes up and says I want to use drones at work. They want to solve business problems and know what’s going on around a farm or their pipelines. Drones can help them do that, but many will rely on service providers and specialists for this,” the investor said. Longer term, he expects a larger capital outlay to flow to drone-tech companies after regulators allow beyond the line of sight flying of drones, using autonomous flight, collision avoidance and other remote piloting systems. Those who are not already evaluating drone-tech deals, Ganesan believes, may have seriously underestimated the long-term impact of the technology. An old Silicon Valley chestnut states that short-term effects of major new technologies are generally overestimated, but long-run effects are underestimated. Subtraction Capital General Partner Paul Willard, who previously worked at Boeing as an aerodynamics engineer, said, “Setting a high bar that companies know how to clear” is the most important thing that regulators can do to ensure the U.S. is a leader in the drones industry. “There’s still need for a lot more clarity before U.S. markets are at the fore. But plenty of companies are getting funding now and off to the races, even if that’s somewhere not in the U.S.,” Willard noted. Subtraction Capital is an investor in Zipline, which is launching a medical delivery drone service in Rwanda. He also compared the drone-tech market to that for medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Medical devices and new drugs are often launched and studied beyond the U.S. before the companies making them raise large venture or private equity rounds to come into compliance with strict U.S. regulations. Several other startup founders and drone-tech investors have shared worries with TechCrunch that commercial drone regulation requiring tech companies to seek out variances could inadvertently benefit winners and create barriers to competition for others who do not get federal exemptions, or do not get them as quickly as others.