New York Bills Would Punish Pirate Radio Operators
February 7, 2011 at 4:16 AM (PT)
Bills have been introduced in the NEW YORK State Assembly and Senate to make operation of pirate radio stations a class D felony punishable by imprisonment and a fine.
Assembly Bill 00326, sponsored by Assemblyman GEORGE S. LATIMER (D-91st), and Senate Bill 2737, an identical bill sponsored by Senator STEPHEN M. SALAND (R-41st) and introduced on JANUARY 31st, would punish anyone who "knowingly makes or causes to be made a radio transmission in this State without first having obtained a license or an exemption from licensure from the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION or other applicable federal law or regulation; or acts, whether directly or indirectly, to cause an unauthorized radio transmission to, or interference with, a public or commercial radio transmission to, or interference with, a public or a commercial radio station licensed bu the FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION or to enable the radio transmission or interference to occur."
The state's authority to regulate or punish pirate broadcasting has not been tested in court; regulation of broadcasting is generally pre-empted by federal law.