FCC’s New Pirate Policy Garners Praise


pirateskullNAB and at least one state broadcast association are pleased with the FCC’s new anti-pirate enforcement advisory.

We told you yesterday that, based on the work of Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and others, the Enforcement Bureau has now made it crystal clear that pirate broadcasts are illegal. The bureau has developed an advisory that spells out what advertisers, concert promoters, landlords and others should do if they suspect they’ve done business with one; it also says third parties who help those who broadcast without FCC authorization could be exposed “to FCC enforcement or other legal actions.”

In a letter signed by all five commissioners, they say they hope the document starts “an important dialog on ways the commission can work with your organization, including gathering information to help identify and locate” pirates. The letter was sent to 12 associations representing a mixture of real estate, investment, police, rental and advertising businesses.

Meanwhile New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan said he’s “delighted” with the effort, which “makes it clear that illegal pirate radio stations harm the public by causing interference to licensed stations and interfering with life-saving EAS messages.”

NAB too, is pleased the action signals increased FCC focus on the issue. “Pirate radio is a blight on the public airwaves, and needs to be eradicated immediately,” said EVP Communications Dennis Wharton, who adds NAB will work with Congress to enhance to tools at the commission’s disposal.