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Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the arr-sailing-the-airwaves-and-flogging-the-listeners dept.

348

Thundgelmir writes "Yahoo news has an article about how pirate radio is taking on the FCC. It describes the growing trend of low-power FM stations, and their crusade to be heard across the country and around the internet." From the article: "Over four days, a dozen men and women shyly bumped shoulders as they studied schematics and tinkered with romex connectors, resistors, microphone cords, meters, sockets and capacitors — the stuff of illegal radio stations. 'We're not stealing anything. We're claiming something that's rightfully ours,' he says. His goal is to create FM radio stations faster than the FCC can shut them down ... 'It's always been our position that if enough people go on the air with their stations, the FCC will be overwhelmed and unable to respond.'"

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Dupe. (4, Funny)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182183)

Wasn't this news in the 1960s? Sheesh. ;-)

Re:Dupe. (5, Insightful)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182281)

This has more insight than it maybe looks at first glance. Here, in the UK, the 60's pirate boom was driven by the rise of the cheap transistor radio. Suddenly there were plenty of people who had a requirement for broadcast popular music that the established channels were not meeting. The pirates filled the gap until the establishment changed to meet it (Wonderful Radio 1!!).

Now we have a new era with a new medium. The consuming public demand/expect that their requirements are met. The interesting question is whether the established media is as reactionary as in the 60's or whether they can meet the needs that the pirates meet.

Re:Dupe. (4, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182301)

Well-said, thank you. As to the established media being able to adapt ... in recent history, they've started to show an interest in catching up to their innovative rivals. So this could play out VERY interestingly. But, I fear, whenever the MPAA or RIAA are involved, it may degenerate into a witch-hunt.

So I hope this all just concerns news and talk radio! lol :)

Re:Dupe. (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182489)

Radio 1 was staffed by former pirate radio bods anyway.

I miss Radio Caroline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16183085)

- i loved to listen to the DJs, who could, in a single sentence, use English, French, and Dutch while spinning some great tunes...

- many years later, a few of the same DJs were on a Jazz station in DC, but alas, the station is now Oldies...

sigh...

Re:Dupe. (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183173)

There are parts of London (UK !) where even the regular BBC stations can't be heard due to the pirate stations blasting out low-quality FM. I think there are three problems, firstly that there's very little spectrum space on the FM broadcast band that's spare, and secondly that the "new" Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) system in the UK doesn't have enough bandwidth to cope with the number of radio stations who want to use it, and lastly that it probably costs too much for a radio station to get onto DAB at all.

I am speculating that there must also be a rise in the number of "pirate" internet radio stations too, but of course as and when they become too well known they will be taken "off air".

Whatever happened to Mercora?

Rights? (2, Insightful)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182191)

We're claiming something that's rightfully ours


How so ? Last time I checked, one needed a licence to broadcast on the FM frequencies.

-Jar.

Re:Rights? (2, Insightful)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182219)

That is an artificiality, implemented and enforced by a government agency. FM frequencies are merely a collective decision of a bunch of eletromagnetic energy to exist in a cohesive waveform for a period of time, and over a certain distance.

Re:Rights? (5, Funny)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182369)

FM frequencies are merely a collective decision of a bunch of eletromagnetic energy to exist in a cohesive waveform for a period of time, and over a certain distance.

And that have commercial value.

Millions of consumers have receivers in their homes/works/cars that operate with transmissions on those frequencies, so the realist in me says the FCC is chasing them because commercial radio pushes them to.

Meanwhile, the tinfoil in my hat says it's about Big Brother restricting public broadcast and free communication... oh, and keeping the little guy down, man.

Re:Rights? (5, Interesting)

FormOfActionBanana (966779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182745)

the realist in me says the FCC is chasing them because commercial radio pushes them to.


The FCC does exist for a good reason. The radio space within the US is something that is owned by the people of the United States. The rules that are in place are to protect the masses from having that resource rendered unusuable to them. Citizens' Band ("CB") was established so that individuals could express whatever they wanted on their spectrum.


The commercial radio stations that play music we don't like, and shove commercials down the ears of listeners, AND screw payola out of artists... also do pay their licensing fees to the people of the United States.


What you let your government spend the money on is another matter entirely.

Re:Rights? (1)

martinussen (986404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182547)

Whether or not it is anyone's fundamental right to broadcast stuff depends on the nature of humanity and the universe. If it is such that the "ether" is by nature meant for us to use, and we by nature have the right to use it as we please, we certainly have been denied our rights so far. If, on the other hand, we assume that we from the start have no rights and can only do that which we have later gained the right to, the whole thing changes dramatically. We must ask ourselves if freedoms are an inalienable part of humanity or a collection of fleeting concepts that can be removed from us. The logical extremes here are, of course, anarcy and fascism.

Re:Rights? (4, Insightful)

figment (22844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182581)

While it is artificial there is a really good reason on why FM licensing is there.

There's only a fixed amount of spectrum out there, and the licensing allows it to be allocated in a fairly efficient manner. If you do not do this, then anybody can blowup anybody else's transmission, and you're left with no reasonable programming (or cellphones for that matter, or satellite tv) at all.

Now while the barriers to creating a ratio station are quite expensive, the fact is that just about everyone would rather have some mediocre programming (what we have currently) over unabashed chaos that would happen otherwise. There are open bands of spectrum where you can do whatever you want with it, so it's not like it's a massive government conspiracy to keep the man down.

Re:Rights? (2, Interesting)

z0idberg (888892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182701)

Aren't property boundaries artificially created and implemented and enforced by a government agency as well? A block of land is merely a lump of dirt in a certain area of space/time, but putting up a fence around it and saying I am using it and that I have a right to it doesn't make it mine. Who owns it and where its boundaries lie is looked after by a central body just as the FM frequecies are.

Re:Rights? (2, Informative)

Crasoum (618885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182843)

Actually in Texas (and a few other palces, but I live in Texas) putting a fence around a piece of property and saying it is yours does make it yours, after 7 years.

Re:Rights? (3, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182911)

Well, time to build a fence around Texas!

Re:Rights? (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183053)

As long as it's on the Southern border, you've got me convinced.

Re:Rights? (5, Insightful)

Zapd (29091) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182231)

Last time I checked, one needed a licence to broadcast on the FM frequencies.

Exactly. And it's not that the FCC likes to go after the pirate stations, TFA stated that FCC is complaint-driven, i.e. licensed stations are being pushed off the airwaves. Not polite.

The pirates should fight for a "pirate" range in the FM spectrum where unlicensed transmitters van freely broadcast. Problem solved.

Re:Rights? (1)

ben there... (946946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182287)

TFA stated that FCC is complaint-driven, i.e. licensed stations are being pushed off the airwaves. Not polite.

Oh, no! Clear Channel might get knocked off the air! What a shame that would be.

MOD PARENT UP (2, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182555)

The pirates should fight for a "pirate" range in the FM spectrum where unlicensed transmitters van freely broadcast. Problem solved.

Wow. I thought your post would be redundant, but apparently it's the only one that makes this proposal so far. All of this crap about "sticking it to the man"... the problem is that there are a bunch of people who want to set up low-power FM radio stations that anybody with an FM radio in the area will be able to listen to. Give them a chunk of the spectrum, set some reasonable power limits (perhaps based on the population density of the area) and be done with it. Problem solved, as you say.

I think I've heard of it... (2, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182591)

Great idea.

Let's see, we'll set aside a band, for random people to use. I wonder what we should call it. The Anonymous Coward Band? How about the Taxpayer Band?

I've got it -- we'll call it the Citizen's Band!

Okay, okay; I know it's slightly different. Technically the rules on C.B. prohibit broadcasting; it's supposed to be for two-way communication. But the idea is basically the same. The equipment to transmit and receive is widely available, and quite cheap.

However, I doubt that the Pirate Radio people would be happy with this, because they're not just looking for spectrum, they want an audience. Basically, they want spectrum on a band which everyone already has receivers for, because that's the only way they're ever going to get people to listen to them.

Re:I think I've heard of it... (2, Insightful)

dattaway (3088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182951)

The problem with CB radio is it uses a very long wavelength, requiring long antennas for an efficient transmission. It would be nice to have the 460MHz FRS, 2.4GHz, and 5GHz spectrum much wider so communities can freely hack more uses for them. The public spaces are so crowded and freedom to explore the potential is often limited.

Thoughts on "11 meters" (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183205)

This really isn't true. CB is only in the 11m band, which you can easily transmit on using a 1/4 or 1/8 wave vertical -- that's why it got chosen for mobile communications. If you were going to be broadcasting, using a full-wave vertical or some sort of phased array isn't that impractical: it's only 11 meters. If you're spending the money for a power amp and the rest of the gear you need to broadcast, I hope to heck you can at least get something 35 feet up in the air. (Flagpole, gutter pipe...whatever.)

The CB is adjacent to the amateur 10m band, and people work that using minimal (100W equipment) to talk hundreds or thousands of miles. Granted, usually not on AM, which is the CB standard, but the equipment isn't the limiting factor, it's generally atmospheric propagation.

Anyway; I agree that the FCC has totally ignored its mandate of public service in terms of giving spectrum in the higher frequencies to projects that would have a local focus, because there's a lot of cool stuff that can be done up there. I have somewhat controversial feelings on the issue: I think that a lot of what you're trying to motivate could be done through a revamping of the Amateur Radio service to make it a little more current with the state of the radio art and less off-putting to today's geeks. Amateurs could -- and have, in the past -- laid the groundwork for lots of useful technology. In the past, when the cutting edge was in shortwave radio, this was in global communication, but now that the cutting edge has moved upwards into the microwave and higher, it could mean things like ultrawideband data or advanced types of software defined, frequency-agnostic "radios." However, the molasses-like pace of the FCC in regards to everything that doesn't involve millions of dollars of cash is acting like a retardant on all development in the area.

Or just don't interfere with people... (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182557)

Alternately, they could just pick an unused FM frequency in their area; it's not like it's terribly hard to do. With the exception of a few saturated markets, almost any major area is probably going to have some free spots on the dial where, if you wanted to set up shop as a pirate station without interfering with anyone, you could.

Or heck, why use FM? Practically any radio these days that can get FM also can receive AM, even if people rarely use it; consequently most places have vast regions of the AM broadcast band unused. (Although, you'd need to watch your power levels at night...)

Then the complaint-driven nature of the FCC would work for you: no harm, no foul. As long as you don't step on the toes of somebody who actually has a license, they're probably not going to give a crap.

Having dealt with the FCC before, I can tell you it's hard enough getting them to do anything when there's clear interference to an established, licensed radio service; if there wasn't any interference it would probably take them a long time to send out one of their investigators and track you down.

With that said, I don't advocate unlicensed radio in the FM band; there are better mediums to disseminate your message if you really have one to communicate, than FM radio. The "pirate radio" of the 60s in today's world would probably be on the Internet, where you don't have to worry about the FCC.

Re:Rights? (1)

EndlessNameless (673105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182765)

The pirates should fight for a "pirate" range in the FM spectrum where unlicensed transmitters van freely broadcast. Problem solved.

Google HAM Radio. The problem has been solved.

Re:Rights? (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182967)

WRONG! Broadcasting is prohibited and most people don't have receivers in that range of spectrum.

Re:Rights? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182979)

And Amateur radio operators are most definitely licenced.

Re:Rights? (1)

EndlessNameless (673105) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183023)

Yes, but it's relatively easy to be licensed for broadcast, there are no hard-and-fast rules about "acceptable" content, and the spectrum isn't carved up and sold the way FM is. It's about as free as you can get without stepping on other people's toes.

The licensing is required because it possible (although rare) for one goon to screw up and render a chunk of spectrum unusable for a while or otherwise cause problems for other people. Radio broadcasting is like driving in this respect; it is an activity that is inherently public in some way and may therefore cause problems if it isn't done properly. Unlike... say, masturbation... which can be done in complete privacy.

You can get all the study materials you need for the FCC test and a set of ham radio equipment for a couple hundred dollars. Take a look at what's required for FM broadcasting and then tell me ham radio isn't the radio equivalent of the television "public access" channel.

Good FAQ available at http://www.hello-radio.org/whatis.html [hello-radio.org]

Nope, NOT solved. (1)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182991)

...HAM Radio. The problem has been solved.

Not quite; sorry. Part 97, the part of the FCC rulebook governing amateur radio, forbids the following:

- broadcasting (the tolerated exception being QST's from W1AW and the like, because they're intended only for licensed amateurs)

- music-playing

- commercial programming, including commercials

Ham radio is intended primarily for point-to-point or point-to-net communications where there's a live operator at each transmitter, and the only audience is other hams (you as a shortwave listener or scanner user can listen in, but they're not supposed to be talking to you). The exceptions are tolerance for automata like FM repeaters and packet BBSes, and even then there's supposed to be a control operator on frequency or around the station who can take the transmitter off the air if someone starts misusing it for things like broadcasting.

Re:Rights? (2, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182233)

Last time I checked, one needed a licence to broadcast on the FM frequencies.

I think that's kinda their point.

Re:Rights? (5, Interesting)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182399)

The United States in unique in that the law explicitely states that the EM spectrum is the property of the American public. (This has been the law for almost a century, infact -- I think it goes all the way back to the 1912 Radio Act) Because it is a shared resource, however, the government issues licenses to use the spectrum. However, "moneyed interests" (corporations - especially clearchannel) dominate the landscape and the FCC does whatever the want, typically shafting the consumer in te process. The Communications Act of 1996 exacerbated the situation, because it removed rules governing how much of the spectrum one company could gobble up. So if these radio pirates are going to challenge the extremely corrupt FCC establishment, I say more power to them.

Re:Rights? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182473)

Did Edwin Armstrong [wikipedia.org] need a license?

I don't think that need means what you think it means.

Re:Rights? (2, Interesting)

fatboy (6851) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183059)

Did Edwin Armstrong [wikipedia.org] need a license?

Yes, he did.

Mr. Universe (1)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182905)

Can't stop the signal, bro.

why (5, Interesting)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182209)

Some laws that are in place do make sense. The FCC rules for broadcasting are in place for safety actually. Granted, a pirate radio station probaly won't bring down an airline, but what if it does interfere with radio transmissions in the ambulance and 911 when the operator is trying to say got left on Pine and all you here is salsa music? That's a potential hazard. There are better ways to make statements now than broadcasting over a pirated radio broadcast.

addendum (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182227)

I should have alos mentioned that it's not fair if it interferes with broadcasts that stations pay for.

Re:addendum (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182275)

well who are they paying for those airwaves? it certaintly isn't me...

Re:addendum (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182335)

I didn't say it was a perfect system. But how would you feel if somone set up a pirate cell cervice and you couldn't call out becuase of interference? You're paying for the service to send and receive phone calls, won't you be a little upset if the peope down the street are talking for free interupting your service?

Re:addendum (1)

Imsdal (930595) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182603)

well who are they paying for those airwaves? it certaintly isn't me...

It certainy is you (assuming that you are a US citizen)! The frequencies are auctioned to the highest bidder (but also subject to a bunch of restraints, most or all of which makes at least some sense), and the money goes to the government. Now, you may of course complain that that money isn't well spent, but that is a whole different issue. There is no difference between money raised from auctioning the EM spectrum and "normal" taxes.

Re:addendum (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182669)

I should have alos mentioned that it's not fair if it interferes with broadcasts that stations pay for.

I have to disagree with this, and it's the one thing that justifies pirate radio. We need a fairer way to allocate the spectrum that doesn't rest on how much money one can raise.

Re:addendum (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183277)

A fairer way? Western capitalism is based around two ideas:

  1. The fair way to ration scarce resources is to exchange them for other scarce resources.
  2. Tokens called money can be exchanged as an intermediate to facilitate transactions.
If you want to use a means of rationing other than money for the spectrum, then why not for everything else too?

Re:why (4, Informative)

tsq (768711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182359)

The idea behind Dunifer's project is to promote pirate radio that specifically addresses those types of concerns. He [or, more generally, Radio Free Berkeley] provides not only schematics and tutorials for building a setup that will not interfere with other [licensed] frequencies, but he even sells kits and hosts seminars on doing just that.

Re:why (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182457)

And that happens, does it? You'll be able to cite examples, will you? Let's say, oh, three examples. Go on, brave apologist, Google your little heart out.

Re:why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182889)

My ex-girlfriend's father was sort of a science wonk. He ended up being a doctor, but back when he was a kid he put together a ham radio transmitter that was around 900 watts. I believe he said it was called a linear amplifier. Apparently you needed to get some sort of frequency multiplier in the circuit, and he got the x2 instead of the x3 (or vice versa). He lived 5 minutes from the LAX airport, and apparently he actually did end up on the control tower frequency. As the story goes, three vans triangulated his position within about 15 minutes. Since he was just a kid that wasn't really trying to cause trouble, I believe he ended up with a $50 fine in court.

Of course, I wasn't there to witness this (or even born yet), but I knew him pretty well and he wasn't the type to make up stories.

Hi if you're out there Dr. O, this is Nathan :)

Re:why (1, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182459)

Granted, a pirate radio station probaly won't bring down an airline, but what if it does interfere with radio transmissions in the ambulance and 911 when the operator is trying to say got left on Pine and all you here is salsa music? That's a potential hazard.



Well if we are to list every "potential hazard" what about falling towers, tooth decay, and that demon rum?


Seriously, who would these people be talking to on emergency vehicle frequencies? Just how many households have their household FM radio's tuned to the local ambulance company?


They won't be broadcasting there. They want to be heard by someone other than the Police for crying out loud!.



You can already get a hobby AM/FM license for very small wattage for no money to speak of, and be assigned a legitimate and reserved frequency. Hobby stations are fairly common in big cities.


This story is about the last gasp of a bunch of hippies from the 60's who have not heard about the internet, where they can blog to their heart's content.


Oh, wait, no one would read them would they....

somewhat true, but... (3, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182659)

I agree that purposefully flooding the airwaves with interfering crap isn't a great idea, but someone needs to do something about the FCC. Do you realize that over-the-air broadcasts (both TV and radio) are pretty much the only forms of mass communication in the USA that are still subject to draconian censorship? I can say "fuck" out loud, in a book, in a movie, on a CD, on the internet, over the phone, but heaven forbid I say it over the airwaves! Ditto for nudity. I have Sirius satellite radio and on the hard rock stations I listen to not only do they not censor their music, but their DJs cuss regularly. It's clear that the vast majority of their fanbase does not, ahem, give a flying fuck. On TV, the situation is even more ridiculous because parents have access to the V-chip.

The FCC should not be in the business of censorship, period. The founding fathers explicitly gave us freedom of the press, and if they had known about radio waves they would have deemed those be free of censorship as well. The FCC has far overstepped its bounds (especially post-"wardrobe malfunction"), and if this is the only way to draw attention to the issue, so be it. I can only hope that these people operate their pirate radio stations in a responsible manner, on unused areas of the spectrum and at reasonable power levels. Provided they act responsibly, there's nothing wrong with breaking this law; indeed, I say that it needs breaking, it needs civil disobediance because it's a very ugly, glaring flaw splattered across one of the few freedoms the USA has actually protected quite well--better than most other Western nations, at least. (And before anyone starts ranting about how they allow nudity on British/French/German/Dutch/Australian broadcast TV, realize that more than a few movies and videogames have been outright banned in ALL of those countries. Other than child pornography and to a lesser extent beastiality, there's practically nothing you can't legally see/read/buy in America.)

Oh yeah, and the ownership rule relaxation is bullshit as well. It's not right that Clearchannel gets a government-approved (and protected) monopoly over half the fucking spectrum.

Re:why (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182717)

The FCC rules for issuing FM broadcast licenses have nothing to do with preventing harmful interference to other licensed services. They are supposed to allow for orderly and fair access to the FM broadcast band by broadcasters and potential broadcasters. The problem is that the FM broadcast band is a limited resource and FCC deregulation has created a free market in broadcast licenses. This means that only people with large amounts of money can afford to purchase a license and put a station on the air. There are no frequencies set aside for low-power and limited-range broadcasting. Free markets may work for many things, but they have turned the FM broadcast band into a vast wasteland.

Re:why (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182895)

if a Pirate broadcaster is smart enough to build his own radio with the intention of targeting off the shelf radio recievers that consumers buy then i think they would be smart enough to select the correct frequency to broadcast on, that lamer excuse of interfearing with emergency radio transmissions is no good...

Re:why (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183209)

Parent Modded Insightful...right...

First and formost, if it is in the frequency range allocated so that
public FM radio receivers can pick it up, it is not in the emergency services band.

The FM radio band is set aside for just that.

When ppl uses scanners to listen in, its freq range settings
are not in the normal public FM radio band.

If they are broadcasting outside the usual band, then yeah they could
be mucking up the airways, but as this is old hat and has been around
for decades its very likely they want listeners in the usual Freq range.

Everyone love pirates! (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182235)

Except, ya know, people at sea, but screw them.

Re:Everyone love pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16183143)

Funny, the sea is exactly where you could operate a pirate radio station with impunity. Crank up the power and make sure you stay out of the territorial bounds of the US.

I think for us, especially... (2, Interesting)

demondawn (840015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182247)

it is difficult to know what side (if any!) to take on this story. There's no inherent "funny" comment that pops to mind, no well-worn slashdot joke...this is about a very fundamental thing (who "owns" the airwaves) and I think a lot of people on slashdot, and even elsewhere, don't really have an opinion on it. Do we support what is basically anarchy on the airwaves (which, according to the article, could be even hazardous to our personal saftey, though I imagine that's at least a little hyperbole)? Do we support the underpaid, overworked people of the FCC? (So where did all the money from those fines go?) A lot of questions, and at least in my mind, no ready answers.

Re:I think for us, especially... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182261)

well thanks for sharing the fact that you have no opinion with us. yugo girl!

Re:I think for us, especially... (1)

demondawn (840015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182289)

Oh, good, not only have you changed my gender, but I have to drive a crappy 1970s car made from old Soviet tanks? Thanks.

Re:I think for us, especially... (1, Redundant)

chawly (750383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182371)

I saw this bit
no well-worn slashdot joke...this is about a very fundamental thing (who "owns" the airwaves)
and I really couldn't help wondering if the ancient "All your airwaves are belong to us" might not be fitting here. It is very well worn, and - at least for me - rather appropriate. What do you others think ?

Re:I think for us, especially... (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182483)

Maybe we can do the Soviet joke here...

"In Soviet Russia the airwaves broadcast you!"

But it doesn't sound too nice either.

But seriously, the FCC's _purpose_ is to regulate the airwaves to reduce the abuse of the communications channels. It's not that they own it, _anyone_ can broadcast on the available frequencies. It's just that it's gonna create a major chaos if people just started broadcasting with no regards to what is more useful. And that chaos is something that the FCC is trying to avoid.

OTOH, that's what the pirates plan to do. This looks very interesting indeed.

Why federal? (2, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182597)

The story takes the angle of the little guy bravely battling against unfeeling big government. And that's surely how pirate operators and their listeners see it. But if the range of your FM transmitter is only a few miles, why is it a federal matter? These frequency bands should be left to the states to allocate as they wish.

FCC Mandate (3, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182741)

This is actually a fairly interesting question.

From today's perspective, where we look at the EM spectrum and see that the majority of it is really suited more for short-range communication than anything else, it seems like something that ought to be regulated at least in part by the states.

However, the authority of the FCC comes from the Communications Act of 1934, and its predecessor agency from the Radio Act of 1927, which were drafted in a time when most of the radio spectrum in use was down in the HF bands, which travel hundreds or thousands of miles and thus require widespread regulatory authority. From this authority -- which began due to a need to keep civilian transmissions from interfering with maritime wireless service -- they simply continued to regulate as frequencies grew higher and higher, and transmission distances shorter and shorter, until the FCC frequently has a say in things in which there is little or no business for Federal regulation.

When it comes to Anarchy (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182647)

You usually don't want it. Why? Because what usually ends up happening is that you don't really have it for long, you just have the strong pushing around the weak. Safety aside, we do need something that shares our radio spectrum. Otherwise people WILL step on others. I'm not saying the system we have now is necessarily the way to go, but complete deregulation isn't likely to work well.

For example: Let's say that, despite regulations, the cell companies come to an agreement to play nice and cell service continues. It even gets better because they boot power on all the devices past what they were allowed to. However you happen to live next to a guy who's an asshole. He doesn't like or use cellphones. So he decides to set up a 1000 watt wide band radio connection to another asshole buddy right in the middle of the cell bands. They use omni directional antennas and start blasting their signal. Suddenly, you can't get cell service anywhere near your house.

What do you do? You don't have the money or knowledge to build an amplifier to blot his out, never mind that it might not work with the system, you can't go and destroy his system that'd be illegal, and it's airwave anarchy so he's violating no laws. You just have to sit down and take it. While it may be a nice idea that people get along well enough to share on their own, history teaches us that's just not the case. People are greedy and self centered.

Fines (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182651)

All fines, fees, taxes, etc. go into the U.S. Treasury's General Fund. Only the Congress has the constitutional authority to authorize spending by the federal government. If NASA discovers a pirate's chest full of gold at the Kennedy Space Center, they don't get to keep a single doubloon.

Re:I think for us, especially... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182685)

Do we support the underpaid, overworked people of the FCC? (So where did all the money from those fines go?)

Generally money collected by various [Federal] goverment bodies gets tossed into a general pool to be misspent by Congress. The theory behind this is simple: If the varied and sundry agencies aren't allowed to keep monies collected in fines and judgements, they won't be tempted into increased enforcement as a means of increasing their budget (read empire building).

Solution is easy... (3, Insightful)

minsk (805035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182255)

It would seem that the solution to pirate radio is very simple. Look at why they are circumventing the regulations in the first place: expenses and rules. And more the former than the latter.

The FCC's complaint is interference with licensed stations and/or emergency/critical services. So push prices down for low-wattage transmitters, and the FCC might find that they get more small radio stations following their rules... and that has got to be cheaper than crews in million dollar vans running all over the country playing whack-a-mole.

Re:Solution is easy... (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182337)

It would seem that the solution to pirate radio is very simple. Look at why they are circumventing the regulations in the first place: expenses and rules. And more the former than the latter. The FCC's complaint is interference with licensed stations and/or emergency/critical services. So push prices down for low-wattage transmitters, and the FCC might find that they get more small radio stations following their rules..

Huh? Commercial low wattage transmitters are about as cheap as they can reasonably be ($1k or less). The expense in question is the expense of complying with the rules - not that of the hardware.

Re:Solution is easy... (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182847)

i think he means push down the licensing prices for low wattage transmitters. i dont imagine the fcc sell the transmitters.

Re:Solution is easy... (1)

DrTacos (1005367) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182515)

Yeah, its called HAM radio. I got the liscense when I was 12 for about $10. You can easily get a transmitter for less than $500.

Now to get at the meat of the matter, If you want to jabber politics to your neighbors on their fm radios then you just need to get over yourself. I can imagine some 4$$h013 transmitting their home made crap over commercial stations because they think what they have to say is that important. Most people dont know how to triangulate the violator and would essentially be out of luck, their rights infringed by the very people claiming to be protecting the rights of everyone.

It is ours (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182263)

It is well beyond doubt that the FCC needs to be changed and the media ownership laws addressed. It is also obvious that the frequency spectrum needs to be regulated however; even a brief look at how the FCC is acting for the benefit of corporations should signal that change needs to happen.

There are numerous examples to the corrupt nature of the FCC; one of the most recent was the fact that the FCC had reports destroyed that directly contradicted the actions they have taken on behalf to their corporate masters.

The airwaves belong to the people and should be run to the benefit of the people. Obviously our government is not acting as it should in many areas, the issue is, how to affect change? With only a single political party in the US, I doubt voting helps.

Re:It is ours (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182885)

Did it occur to you that acting for the benefit of corporations could in very many cases also be for the benefit of the people?

It would be a quite bizarre reality where it is not in the interest of people to have corporations around and so any 'good' government would do their best to act against their interest.

Oh noes! They've got connectors! (2, Insightful)

AWeishaupt (917501) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182323)

...connectors, resistors, microphone cords, meters, sockets and capacitors -- the stuff of illegal radio stations...

Good grief.
To think, we're rapidly approaching the point where possession of a resistor makes you { potential radio pirate | cracker | terrorist | public enemy number one} in the eyes of the media.

Re:Oh noes! They've got connectors! (5, Funny)

BasharTeg (71923) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182343)

Viva la resistance!

Re:Oh noes! They've got connectors! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182495)

Ohm my God, you went there.

Re:Oh noes! They've got connectors! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182367)

Well, here in Poland we used to have resistors pinned into the clothes as the sign of resistance against the Soviet Union-sponsored government oppression. And the people caught wearing them were prosecuted.

Compare with Blogs (1)

BibelBiber (557179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182345)

The thing is, compared to blogs, there isn't enough bandwidth for everyone _and_ imagine all that crap broadcasted. Ther commercial/noncommercial stations around are bad enough, why bother with even more stations? Those free stations all have their agenda what they want you to hear, I'm not sure this is what I want. So shut them down. Whoever wants to listen to them, use Internet streams, these are just fine.

Illegal (1)

XNormal (8617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182375)

[...] romex connectors, resistors, microphone cords, meters, sockets and capacitors -- the stuff of illegal radio stations

No, it's just the transmitter which is illegal (but the feds will take all of it, of course).

Re:Illegal (1)

thomasa (17495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183273)

Probably more complicated then that. Owning is legal, operating illegal, selling is ???

In the age of internet radio (1, Redundant)

JWideman (1005353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182377)

There is no need for pirate radio. The whole pirate radio thing is about "fighting the Man". The Man does not (yet) control internet radio. It's a battle you don't need to fight.

Re:In the age of internet radio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16182411)

... Eat pills and be happy. Everything is in order. You are happy. Everybody is happy. Proceed to the distribution points to receive your daily pills. Eating pills is necessary. Eat pills and be happy. Everything is in order. You are happy ...

Re:In the age of internet radio (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182469)


    Actually, there are several groups that put up a pretty decent fight against Internet broadcasters.

    Check out somafm.com. They have a bit of their legal history on their about page.

    http://somafm.com/about/ [somafm.com]

Re:In the age of internet radio (1)

iritant (156271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182477)

There is no need for pirate radio. The whole pirate radio thing is about "fighting the Man". The Man does not (yet) control internet radio. It's a battle you don't need to fight.

Absolutely. This article talks about a bunch of people who want to be heard. No better place for that than the Internet. Now if only someone could provide a decent organization of the cacaphony of voices out here...

On the other hand, it does bother me that somewhere along the way we forgot that the airwaves are a public trust, and that many licensed radio stations all are run from a single point, meaning I can go from one end of the country to the other, listening to the same music with little if any regional variation, or for that matter care for regional issues or concerns. I am curious about how many of those Clear Channel stations actually provided useful and timely information to the people of New Orleans last year. I wonder how well they upheld that trust. And I wonder if a pirate radio station would do better.

By the way, as I recall from my read of Part 79 (the Ham code), you have a right to broadcast on any frequency in order to save life and limb.

Too bad the American Public seems to disagree. (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182673)

I can go from one end of the country to the other, listening to the same music with little if any regional variation, or for that matter care for regional issues or concerns.

This would be a more interesting point if not for the fact that based on the success of satellite radio, it would seem as though this is exactly what a large number of people want.

People don't want "regional variation," they want consistency. They want to be able to drive from Boston to Washington and still have the exact same palette of stations available, and they want them on all the time.

You may certainly disagree (and I'm with you), but both the current state of broadcast radio, as demonstrated by XM and Sirius (so it's not even some giant ClearChannel conspiracy), and historical indicators from other markets show that you're in the minority.

People don't want the "local roadhouse," they want McDonalds. They don't want Jack and Jill's Country Inn, they want Motel 6. They don't want the General Store, they want WalMart. Over and over the market has shunned independents -- even when they had a huge advantage to begin with -- in favor of consistent national chains; with the public only developing a nostalgia for the 'local flavor' after it was mostly gone. But regardless of their stated feelings, the public has over and over voted with their feet and their wallets.

Frankly I think it's surprising that independent radio stations have remained as long as they have, and that 'networking' (in the manner of VHF TV stations) didn't happen sooner. With more competition from consistent, branded satellite networks (and perhaps in the future, content delivered by cell network, etc.) I think in the future we can expect to see more consolidation of terrestrial FM stations into various "channels" that a person can listen to from one coast to the other. Either that, or it will lose its relevance as a mass communications channel and become more like the UHF TV band is today.

Re:In the age of internet radio (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182481)

The whole pirate radio thing is about "fighting the Man"

There is nothing (or very little) to stop them from broadcasting on CB, and some people might actually listen. But as you point out, it has to be illegal to be attractive.

No, little grass-hoppa. (1, Interesting)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182641)

I do not Trust that FCC with my precious voice above my head and within reach of my yodling or echo of word about me.

The matter is not about fighting "the Man." The matter is about fighting a portrait drawn by the Man depicting his five-horned tentacle-monster grasping onto anime-style radio waves to move above unsuspecting people. I'm not going to rub you maliciously on this, but consider that the verry nature of words uttered from a creature or the mouth of a Man; they are the living radio propogation emitted, and discernable from our ears. The FCC is unlawfully moving its officers outside of a foreign state known as Columbia and actively regulating the matters of neighboring States that have no benefit from said services.

What none comprehend is that the Man is being blessed by his fellows, while the corporation inks curse after curse onto a man by assistance of its brain-washed pastafarian followers that have accepted its Oath and concealed Bond. The FCC is profitting from the sale of radio-wave bandwidth or spectrum to corporations, and is profitting after having no improvement other than the benefit of being regulated and the Code conferred upon the assets of the corporations particular as of Certifications welcoming customers for the mere suggestion of honor. It's not the radio-waves that should be regulated, but the movement of information determined a more dynamic course. Radio-waves are nothing more than noise or sound polution that we can't hear, but effects us in subtle ways; consider that every particle in our body has a resonant frequency and can be disrupted by the harmonious transmittal of a neighboring Horn or antennae: it's the same result of a vocalist that can shatter glass when the same resonant frequency is tuned.

Federal Communication Commision is neithe federal and is neither commisioned by anyone. Who agreed to pledge their radio spectrum above them and their property to an agent/corporation of a foreign principality in a far-off country? I don't mean to rub it in still, but if a Californian has any allegiance to an entity in Columbia then he is not an American; he is a USian, as per the 14th Amendment instituted by a corporation known as (singular) "United States."

The Man is idolatrous. Corporations are created by the work of a man to paper, and the corporations exist only on paper; they are combustible. Burn it, but there will always be those strangers wanting to enforced their opinions on their neighbors, by use of mass rule (fascism, by defenition) and not love. Most of America is empty, because everyone's got their Head cut-off and stuffed deep in a baskette in Washington District of Columbia, while the trade-off is to lose everyone's Head of State in exchange for the knowledge and reasoning of that mythical 5-horned (transmitting) tentacle monster.

Did you not read the Constitution of the District of Columbia, to know that is claimed all radio wave propogation and speach and transmittals above and within Columbia, without said FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISION? Get a grip on realty, to know the different between a territory and a state, an officer from a magistrate and justice.

My 1000th post (-1, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182379)

This is my 1000th post on /. After 1000 posts I've learned that language is quite possibly the most horrible invention known to man. It can be used for good... but mostly, as demonstrated here, it's a microscope into the human mind... the self-absorbed, illogical, ignorant, dumb, arrogant, fragile, and generally horrifying human mind. Read posts here long enough and you think... what a bunch of dumb asses. Yeah, there are a few smart ones or people with strong opinions and the intelect and facts to back those opinions up... but the vast majority of the public (here and elsewhere) can be safely classified as "the unwashed masses". Couple language with a communication tool like the Internet that allows these unwashed morons to meet likeminded idiots and spew their ill concieved and self-indulgent opinions upon the rest of the unwashed hordes and you have a recipe for... well whatever it's a recipe for it makes me ill.

So after 1000 posts I give you this bit of wisdom... shut up, it is statisically likely that you will save yourself from looking like a complete ass.

Until /. has electrolytes it's not safe for your consumption.

Re:My 1000th post (0, Offtopic)

overbaud (964858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182577)

"After 1000 posts I've learned that language is quite possibly the most horrible invention known to man."

Yeah stupid old language, who needs it, never contributed anything to anyone. I have some advice for you before your next post...

"shut up, it is statisically likely that you will save yourself from looking like a complete ass."

Re:My 1000th post (0, Offtopic)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182631)

Dear Overbaud,

I can tell by your high /. # that you're relatively new here. Soon you'll realize that this isn't the Mecca for geeks and nerds... there is no library at Alexandria here... this is not Athens for Internet nerds. But... clearly by your response it's obvious you will not understand this simply by me telling you. So, young learner, continue in your ignorance and some day you will realize the truth.

Oh, and since you are relatively new here. Next time try one of these tried and true debate methods:
  1. Correct my spelling and/or grammer
  2. Call me an asshat or other silly name
  3. Bring up Linux, GPL, or Microsoft... this could derail the debate entirely
  4. Mark me as a 'foe'. This one really hurts and makes one become a bit more introspective about their behaviors and comments.


Cheers!
ingolke

Re:My 1000th post (1)

overbaud (964858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182851)

Dear 'Soon to be foe' ingolke,

I know exactly what slashdot is... it's news for nerds... although I am still searching for the news. My ignorance can be expressed as a percentage equal to the number of girls I pick up after telling them about my aforementioned, and dare i say rather large slashdot number, they go crazy. How do I know they go crazy? Because they start laughing with their friends and pointing at me, strike back for the nerds I say! I would never call you an asshat... I am to hardcore for that... I would call you an @55h47. I am uber cool because I spelt that with 83.33% numbers, thoze kinda skillz most script kiddies woudl kill for. But I digress from my argument, which is that there is no way that Bill Gates could be funding the middle east war on terror as Microsoft has invested all their money into DRM technology in an effort to circumvent Adobe from taking market share by releasing their products under GPL and intergrating it into FreeBSD (because Linux sucks and is for people who aren't smart enough to use UNIX). I know because my friends cousin works for Microsoft in the office next to Steve. Then again "I, for one, welcome our new Iranian overlords" (that get funnier everytime I hear it!). Anyway I have to go because my mum said dinner is ready.

Warmest Regards,

Overbaud

P.S. Your spelling sucks.

Re:My 1000th post (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182971)

'The force is strong with this one' - Commander Spock, Star Trak II: The Wrath of Kahn

Re:My 1000th post (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182797)

You are truly the 133t35t of the 133t. While everyone else wallows in their own ignorance you are the shining beacon of insight.

Who are you to tell anyone that they have nothing to contribute? Since you are so more insightful and set apart from "the unwashed masses" and aren't a member of :the self-absorbed, illogical, ignorant, dumb, arrogant, fragile, and generally horrifying human mind: your opinion if far more valid than everyone else's, right? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be claiming to be some sort of intellectual superiority for your self here, right?

Plus the judging of some one (as you did on another comment on this post http://politics.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=19749 1&threshold=1&commentsort=0&mode=thread&pid=161825 77#16182631 [slashdot.org] ) based on their experience on slashdot is a real class act. No one who didn't have a lengthy record of posting on slashdot could possibly have any real incite on anything....

Of course I don't have a thousand posts like you do so what do I know?

Re:My 1000th post (-1, Troll)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182949)

Good spelling and grammer skam240. And you get an extra 2 points for using '133t35t of the 133t'.

Now to your questions.

Who are you to tell anyone that they have nothing to contribute?
Well, I've posted 1000 times. My /. # is 515826... which by-the-by is much lower than yours. In short I have more experience here. I have context and understanding of how the /. ecosystem behaves over an extended period of time.

Of course I don't have a thousand posts like you do so what do I know?
This is a very good question... I unfortunately cannot answer it. I too am on a path of learning... so maybe when I have posted 2000 times I will be able to answer you.

One bit of advice for you. /. is a huge joke. It's a joke on me (how pathetic is it really that I've posted here 1000 times... what a complete waste of time!). It's a huge joke on you. Have you read these posts... the articles... the dupes... the ideas and opinions. The good ones are awash in a sea of asinine ideas and half-baked opinions. You really shouldn't take this stuff seriously.

Re:My 1000th post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16183065)

The unwashed masses may taste like womens underwear and day old pizza.

But you, You taste like...Irony. Yes, Very very irony.

You may do well to fallow your own advice, oh great leader of the cheezehead armada.

Re:My 1000th post (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182801)

I think someone needs to put Mr. Grumpy down for a nap.

Re:My 1000th post (0, Offtopic)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182959)

I would enjoy a nap... but I'm actually not grumpy at all. This place is nuts... and the idiocy is an endless source of amusement.

Yeah, what an awesome idea (3, Insightful)

tetromino (807969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182505)

But let's extend it. Pirate IP addresses! I should poison the arp cache on the router and redirect fileserver requests to my own workstation. After all, I am not stealing anything -- I have a natural right to use 172.16.20.104! And if some other users can't get their work done, well, tough luck. Haha, look at these silly network admins trying to track down the problem! They'll are overhelmed and unable to respond! Ooh, now how about pirate license plates. I like my professor's. It has a good ring to it. Yeah, he might be inconvenienced when I get caught by that red light camera -- but I am not stealing anything! And next day, I will just paint a new set of numbers on the plate! No way will they cops ever catch me! Hm, what else. Oh, let's try pirate usernames. Let's hack the forum and get a username I like. Yeah, someone else might be using it already. But who cares, it's not like I am stealing anything... And if the admin blocks me, I'll just go through to the backdoor I installed and get myself another username! They will never shut me down!

There is a legal route for these people (5, Insightful)

GomezAdams (679726) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182509)

As a former broadcaster and a licensed amateur radio operator I know there is a legal route these 'Freedom Fighters' could take if they weren't so busy making martyrs of themselves. There is a community broadcast for education license that can be had for next to nothing if not for free. It is for the FM broadcast band and is for limited power but that power with a decent antenna can cover a square mile or so. Equipment is cheap and you could put up a group for coverage.

The airwaves are a community resource. The FCC was created to control and parcel out the use of the radio spectrum for the best use by the community. Having said that, I know that big money is now involved in braodcast and frequency allocation - amateurs are having to fight off big money interests all the time. However the possibility to cause harm with poorly made and engineered equipment is more likely to create anger than sympathy.

If these people want a voice, take it to the internet. Streaming audio and video using the same studio equipment is possible and if the message has validity the word will spread. The technology is mature and anyone with broadband can do it. It's not as dramatic as getting arrrested and fined and your 'cause' getting press time I guess.

Re:There is a legal route for these people (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182913)

***As a former broadcaster and a licensed amateur radio operator I know there is a legal route these 'Freedom Fighters' could take if they weren't so busy making martyrs of themselves***

Absolutely. An excellent point. But are you sure that the frequencies are there? There are certainly parts of the country where the FM band is nearly empty, but in areas like the Northeast, even the educational sub-band -- only 20 channels, no? already has a station on every channel. I'm located on the edge of the wilderness about 8 miles out of Burlington, Vermont -- hardly the center of the universe. A quick scan looks like two thirds of the channels in the educational sub-band here are already occupied. In Boston, Chicago, LA and New York where they actually have people an open channel to park your low-power station on is going to be a real rarity.

***If these people want a voice, take it to the internet. Streaming audio and video using the same studio equipment is possible and if the message has validity the word will spread. The technology is mature and anyone with broadband can do it.***

If this is a mature technology, I'd hate to see an immature technology. Can I tune into an Internet Radio Station? Absolutely.

Every time I set up a PC to do that I have to try two or three different programs to find one that works on any given PC. And, of course, there are three or four different formats in use. I have yet to find a program that works with all of them. Will the connection still be there if I come back in two hours? With Verizon DSL it probably won't. And don't forget the 10-20% or so of your fellow citizens in the US who have no access whatsoever to broadband. US broadband to rural users is a national embarassment. If I am to believe the Internet, Canada gets DSL to towns with 100 people 300km from the nearest movie theatre. The US often doesn't deliver broadband to towns with a couple of thousand people, 30 minutes drive from local population centers.

Re:There is a legal route for these people (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183025)

LPFM is not restricted to the non-comm. band (i.e. 88.1 thru 91.9). All 100 FM channels are available. The one that recently went on the air in Nashville (www.radiofreenashville.org) is on 98.9.

Sure, just like CB... (4, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182571)

It's always been our position that if enough people go on the air with their stations, the FCC will be overwhelmed and unable to respond.
...and what will this nice gentleman do when a second pirate interferes with his pirate station, due to ideological differences or just to get more advertising revenue? Buy a bigger transmitter? The FCC was created in 1934 specifically to bring sanity to this wild-west, most-powerful-transmitter-wins warfare.

Pump up the Volume (0)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182655)

I don't believe these pirates are really fighting for freedom of speech. They actually just want to get into Winona Ryder's pants.

Re:Pump up the Volume (2, Funny)

SenatorTreason (640653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182699)

Samantha Mathis [imdb.com] was in Pump Up the Volume. Winona Ryder was in Heathers [imdb.com] . Sheesh, get your Christian Slater trivia straight! ;)

Monopoly (4, Interesting)

turbofisk (602472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182849)

During the sixties it brought down the state monopoly that only had old chums debating on the airwaves. It brought music to the airwaves. Not so bad for arr pirate!

The FCC? (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16182939)

Our poor overworked FCC? Don't they already have enough work keeping us save from boobies and badbadbad words on TV? Now they also gotta take up the fight over frequencies?

Hey... wait... actually, THAT would be their job, not content censoring...

My opinion on why they do it (1)

Ultra Hits Radio (1005383) | more than 7 years ago | (#16183045)

In my opinion i believe that most pirate stations are started because they hate the way fm and am radio is today. It's happening everywhere now, most fm stations have playlist that repeat most of the popular music and you would hear the same song more than 3 times a day. Also when you call in to your favorite radio station for requests most of those calls are pre recorded and saved for later until they see your song programmed for the playlist that day, then they stick your requests right before it and then the song comes on. Also there are more and more nationally syndicated morning shows and late night shows that there isnt anymore local programming as much. I hate it myself and i only listen to fm radio if i feel like it. I think internet radio and sattelite will be taking off and the terrestrial radio stations are going to suffer.
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