Apparently, posting your drone footage to YouTube could constitute flying them commercially, at least if the experience of Jayson Hanes is any indication of the FAA’s thoughts.
The issue comes down to the ads on YouTube. If a user uploads their videos with the monetization settings turned on, then money can be earned via YouTube – and if you want to get technical – that means you are using your footage for commercial use. The interesting twist here is that Hanes contends that he has not made any money – or even tried to – off the drone footage; he is just an amateur hobbyist who enjoys putting his videos up on the popular video sharing website.
It would seem that the FAA needs to step back and take another look at their drone regulations, as the line between what constitutes commercial and non-commercial use is still as fuzzy as ever.