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Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds 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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Pirate Radio Stations Challenge Feds

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  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Informative)

    by BiggerIsBetter ( 682164 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @03:56AM (#16182233)
    Last time I checked, one needed a licence to broadcast on the FM frequencies.

    I think that's kinda their point.
  • Re:why (Score:4, Informative)

    by tsq ( 768711 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @04:17AM (#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.
  • by dtmos ( 447842 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @04:58AM (#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.
  • Re:Rights? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Crasoum ( 618885 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @06:01AM (#16182843) Journal
    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? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sbrown123 ( 229895 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @07:46AM (#16183333) Homepage
    How so ? Last time I checked, one needed a licence to broadcast on the FM frequencies.

    I have a license for the air around you. By chance, does that sound silly and absurd?
  • Re:why (Score:3, Informative)

    by josecanuc ( 91 ) * on Monday September 25, 2006 @08:48AM (#16183789) Homepage Journal
    An excellent point. However, poorly designed or poorly built transmitters often have higher-than-should-be harmonic transmissions. We call them "spurious emissions" since they are unintended and do not occur on the primary/desired frequency.

    A pirate station *could* transmit unintentionally on emergency or public-safety frequencies without knowing about it. This is why the FCC requires all electronic devices to be tested and cataloged by themselves (though the testing is usually done by an approved testing company and the FCC looks at the results). The FCC needs to know that a transmitter will not interfere with operations outside it's primary operating frequencies.

    Of course, home-built transmitters or other electronics cannot be controlled by the FCC, but their transmissions ARE under FCC jurisdiction if emitted from the U.S.A.

    Anyone participating in "civil disobedient" pirate radio should make sure that they are not causing harm to any others, otherwise their disobedience ceases to be civil.
  • Re:Rights? (Score:2, Informative)

    by iceph03nix ( 1005545 ) on Monday September 25, 2006 @01:54PM (#16187913)
    I hate to break it to you but thats how most government agancies work. Any money they bring in goes into their budget so that they rely less on government tax funding. For instance, the department of wildlife and parksin most states (may be unfamiliar to this site usual traffik) earns most of their budget from the sales of hunting licenses and hip stamps. This money is used for maintanance of public lands. The public rarely sees most of this money however it helps keep taxes low. In this way hunters, fishers, adn campers pay to maintain resources they use instead of someone who lives in NYC and the closest they come to nature is the local park. The FCC uses the rental fees from the stations to enforce regulations instead of getting all of that money from taxes, keeping the financial stress on those who gain the most from the use of a resource. If public airwaves were not controled, aside from the obvious overcrowding and lack of standardization, then the FCC would have to get its money from ALL taxpayers instead of just those who take advantage of the situation.

Put no trust in cryptic comments.