Drones have been around for some time now. What was perhaps the first aerial bombardment of a city involved a sort of proto-drone. In 1849, Austria employed "unmanned aerial vehicles" (balloons filled with remote-controlled bombs) against revolting Venetians. By the late 1950's, the U.S. Air Force was routinely using unmanned aircraft during missions in hostile territory.
But drones are just recently being embraced for business and recreational use, with non-military drones quickly outnumbering their combative counterparts -- used more often for photographing scenic vistas than bombing neighbors. That proliferation has led to a host of legal issues and the birth of a whole new practice area: drone law. Here are some of the most interesting legal developments in this burgeoning field, from the FindLaw archives.