FCC Gets Stern With Pirate Broadcasters
March 3, 2016 at 4:31 AM (PT)
The FCC has issued a stern Enforcement Advisory, writing, "Perpetrators of pirate radio stations, which by definition do not obtain FCC licenses or comply with Commission rules and requirements, are in violation of Federal law and FCC rules. This prohibition does not discriminate by size of operations, applying equally to the rebellious high school kid operating a radio station from his bedroom as it does to slick and sophisticated high-powered illegal broadcast operations."
The memo targets “persons or businesses operating ‘pirate’ broadcast stations” and makes note to groups like the Rental Property Owners Association, attempting to pay attention to the problem. The agency warns against “buying advertising on such stations [or] housing the physical stations themselves.”
Protecting broadcasters, the advisory adds, "Such illegal activity threatens the livelihood and sustainability of existing radio broadcasters and the health and safety of the listening public. Specifically, pirate radio stations can cause interference to other licensed broadcasters and non-broadcast services, not only preventing listeners from hearing the programming on those stations but also potentially preventing listeners from hearing important Emergency Alert System (EAS) warnings aired by those broadcasters."
Read the full memo here.