Governor of N.Y. Signs Pirate Radio Bill

Posted on August 7, 2011

0


On August 4 New York State Governor Cuomo announced that he had approved new legislation targeting unlicensed broadcasting by Pirate Operators.

The New York State Assembly’s website contains the complete text of Bill NO A00326B, with the following summary:

“Creates the crime of unauthorized radio transmission; prohibits knowingly making a radio transmission on radio frequencies assigned and licensed by the federal communications commission for use by AM and FM radio stations.”

The Bill establishes section 190.72 of the penal law, outlawing radio transmissions without FCC approval and establishes penalties for non-compliance.

“This law will raise financial fines and incarceration penalties to serve as an disincentive for those who would make such illegal broadcasts,” the Memo portion of the Bill states.

The Bill is being justified on the grounds of nuisance caused to licensed broadcast stations.

“Local radio stations often have their programming and signal ‘bumped off’ the air, or drowned out by unofficial, unlicensed ‘pirate radio’ stations that broadcast without FCC approval,” the Memo contends.

The introduction of this Bill is not expected to increase state expenses but, the Memo says, it may increase revenues once violators pay fines.

The New York State Broadcasters Association “applauded” the new law. A news release on their website thanked Governor Cuomo and the Bill’s co-sponsors, Senator Stephen Saland and Assemblyman George Latimer, “for their tireless efforts in moving this legislation forward.”

The full text of the Bill Follows:

Section  1. The penal law is amended by adding a new section 190.72 to read as follows:

S 190.72 UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION.

A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AN UNAUTHORIZED  RADIO  TRANSMISSION  WHEN  SUCH PERSON KNOWINGLY MAKES OR CAUSES TO BE MADE A RADIO TRANSMISSION IN THIS STATE,  ON A RADIO FREQUENCY ASSIGNED AND LICENSED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FOR USE BY AMPLITUDE MODULATION (AM) RADIO STATIONS BETWEEN THE FREQUENCIES OF FIVE HUNDRED THIRTY KILOHERTZ (KHZ) TO SEVEN-TEEN  HUNDRED  KILOHERTZ  (KHZ),  OR  FREQUENCY  MODULATION  (FM)  RADIO STATIONS  BETWEEN THE FREQUENCIES OF EIGHTY-EIGHT MEGAHERTZ (MHZ) TO ONE HUNDRED EIGHT MEGAHERTZ (MHZ), WITHOUT  AUTHORIZATION  OR  HAVING  FIRST OBTAINED  A  LICENSE  FROM THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION OR DULY AUTHORIZED FEDERAL AGENCY, IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW.

UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TRANSMISSION IS A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.

S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

Advertisements
Posted in: Pirate Radio