Known as Trappy on message boards and Facebooks groups, and the "aeriel anarchist" among drone hobbyist, Raphael Pirker the 29-year-old swede will be making headlines today after a federal judge has dismissed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) case against Pirker. In 2011 the FAA smacked Pirker with a $10,000 fine after he flew his Styrofoam drone around the University of Virginia while filming an ad for the university's medical school. This became a test case for the FAA's authority to prohibit people from flying a drone for commercial purposes.
According to an article posted by Politico "The FAA has been saying since 2007 that commercial drone use is not allowed, but the agency never went through the official rule-making channels to make it illegal." As a result of this loophole the case was not weighted on whether Pirker was operating the drone for commercial purposes, but whether or not he was flying in a "reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."
America's first drone defense lawyer, Brandon Schulman, defended Pirker stating that the FAA has never regulated model aircrafts and that it's entire basis for making them "illegal", was not legally binding. The FAA has never undertaken the required public notice necessary to make an official regulation.
This case being dismissed means, at least for now, that drone aircrafts can be operated commercially and you can charge whatever the heck you want. That means it's an open playing field for commercial drones, if you want to get beer delivered while you're ice fishing go right ahead.
Motherboard's article mentions that the FAA could try and establish an emergency rule, but it's unclear how long that will take and whether or not they'll do it.