We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: Pirate Act Passes Senate  (Read 1270 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 25144
  • Karma: +16/-0
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Pirate Act Passes Senate
« on: January 09, 2020, 1302 UTC »
Now pending Trump's signature. Note that it only applies to "535 and 1705 kilohertz, inclusive, or 87.7 and 108 megahertz". This leaves out shortwave, as well as MW pirates operating on 1720 kHz, or even 1710 kHz assuming they keep their bandwidth below 5 kHz, I assume.
 

116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1228

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
    To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for enhanced
          penalties for pirate radio, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse
Through Enforcement Act'' or the ``PIRATE Act''.

SEC. 2. PIRATE RADIO ENFORCEMENT ENHANCEMENTS.

    Title V of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 501 et seq.)
is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

``SEC. 511. ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR PIRATE RADIO BROADCASTING;
              ENFORCEMENT SWEEPS; REPORTING.

    ``(a) Increased General Penalty.--Any person who willfully and
knowingly does or causes or suffers to be done any pirate radio
broadcasting shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000,000.
    ``(b) Violation of This Act, Rules, or Regulations.--Any person who
willfully and knowingly violates this Act or any rule, regulation,
restriction, or condition made or imposed by the Commission under
authority of this Act, or any rule, regulation, restriction, or
condition made or imposed by any international radio or wire
communications treaty or convention, or regulations annexed thereto, to
which the United States is party, relating to pirate radio broadcasting
shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, be subject
to a fine of not more than $100,000 for each day during which such
offense occurs, in accordance with the limit described in subsection
(a).
    ``(c) Annual Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of
enactment of the PIRATE Act, and annually thereafter, the Commission
shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation of the Senate a report summarizing the implementation of
this section and associated enforcement activities for the previous
fiscal year, which may include the efforts by the Commission to enlist
the cooperation of Federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel
(including United States attorneys and the United States Marshals
Service) for service of process, collection of fines or forfeitures,
seizures of equipment, and enforcement of orders.
    ``(d) Enforcement Sweeps.--
            ``(1) Annual sweeps.--Not less than once each year, the
        Commission shall assign appropriate enforcement personnel to
        focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of
        pirate radio broadcasting within the top 5 radio markets
        identified as prevalent for such broadcasts. Such effort shall
        include identifying, locating, and taking enforcement actions
        designed to terminate such operations.
            ``(2) Additional monitoring.--Within 6 months after
        conducting the enforcement sweeps required by paragraph (1),
        the Commission shall conduct monitoring sweeps to ascertain
        whether the pirate radio broadcasting identified by enforcement
        sweeps is continuing to broadcast and whether additional pirate
        radio broadcasting is occurring.
            ``(3) No effect on remaining enforcement.--Notwithstanding
        paragraph (1), the Commission shall not decrease or diminish
        the regular enforcement efforts targeted to pirate radio
        broadcast stations for other times of the year.
    ``(e) State and Local Government Authority.--The Commission may not
preempt any State or local law prohibiting pirate radio broadcasting.
    ``(f) Revision of Commission Rules Required.--The Commission shall
revise its rules to require that, absent good cause, in any case
alleging a violation of subsection (a) or (b), the Commission shall
proceed directly to issue a notice of apparent liability without first
issuing a notice of unlicensed operation.
    ``(g) Pirate Radio Broadcasting Database.--
            ``(1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of
        the enactment of this section, and semi-annually thereafter,
        the Commission shall publish a database in a clear and legible
        format of all licensed radio stations operating in the AM and
        FM bands. The database shall be easily accessible from the
        Commission home page through a direct link. The database shall
        include the following information:
                    ``(A) Each licensed station, listed by the assigned
                frequency, channel number, or Commission call letters.
                    ``(B) All entities that have received a notice of
                unlicensed operation, notice of apparent liability, or
                forfeiture order issued by the Commission.
            ``(2) Clear identification.--The Commission shall clearly
        identify in the database--
                    ``(A) each licensed station as a station licensed
                by the Commission; and
                    ``(B) each entity described in paragraph (1)(B) as
                operating without a Commission license or
                authorization.
    ``(h) Definition of Pirate Radio Broadcasting.--In this section,
the term `pirate radio broadcasting' means the transmission of
communications on spectrum frequencies between 535 and 1705 kilohertz,
inclusive, or 87.7 and 108 megahertz, inclusive, without a license
issued by the Commission, but does not include unlicensed operations in
compliance with part 15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.''.

            Passed the Senate January 8, 2020.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 750 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Teotwaki

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 2102
  • Karma: +8/-0
  • California
    • View Profile
    • My adventures are at Sun To The North
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2020, 1509 UTC »
Thanks for posting this information!

Bet they were super proud of turning the word "pirate" into a legislative acronym.   ::)
Jim
NRD-525, Elecraft KX3 and Elecraft PX3 Spectrum Display
76' end fed long wire & 66' off-center fed dipole for 10/20/40 meters
Orange County, SoCal, The better half

Offline ThaDood

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 421
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • There
    • View Profile
    • Extreme Part #15!
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2020, 2038 UTC »
Huh??? I thought that the senate was too gun-ho with impeachment crap to even care about this.  Whelp, if we want to know how these people in congress get to be multi-millionaires, this is it. The NAB is lining their pockets nicely, I'm sure. Can someone tell Trump to veto this!
I can't decide upon what's worst, young and stupid, or old and chemically dumbed down.

Offline Brian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 377
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2020, 2211 UTC »
Duh, does this mean that operating outside of those bands are not pirate activities?

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 25144
  • Karma: +16/-0
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 2257 UTC »
Duh, does this mean that operating outside of those bands are not pirate activities?

Not as defined by this law with the higher penalties, but still in violation of existing laws.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 750 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline Brian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 377
  • Karma: +2/-0
  • Ireland
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2020, 1432 UTC »
Duh, does this mean that operating outside of those bands are not pirate activities?

Not as defined by this law with the higher penalties, but still in violation of existing laws.
Thanks for clarifying.

Offline Josh

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 4043
  • Karma: +7/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2020, 1900 UTC »
In honor of uninhibited privateering, the pirate dance!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6oKjuvA55g

We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations.

Offline Pigmeat

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 4578
  • Karma: +68/-34
    • View Profile
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2020, 0459 UTC »
I don't get the higher penalties for pirating on MW. Car manufacturers are starting to phase it out on newer models. Most people listen to the radio in their vehicles. If MW is going to be gone in few years, why bother?

Offline OgreVorbis

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • DosaidSoft
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2020, 0632 UTC »
I find it odd that they chose 535 to 1705 kHz. Kinda strange. I wonder why they didn't use the typical 530 - 1710. It looks like the FM pirates are screwed though. I wonder what would happen if someone chose 87.69  :P

I also find it interesting that they are so concerned with pirate radio that they feel the need to enact more laws. It should be the least of their concerns now. The internet with its freedom of communication is much more damaging to them. Just some people playing unusual music on the radio shouldn't concern them. Almost no pirates are political, so... But they are the government afterall. Just control as much as possible is their motto.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 0638 UTC by OgreVorbis »
Radio and Programming Blog: http://dosaidsoft.com/wp/

Offline NJQA

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 166
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Midland, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2020, 1101 UTC »
I also find it interesting that they are so concerned with pirate radio that they feel the need to enact more laws.

I doubt this piece of legislation was something the FCC wanted.  As tailored as it is to the AM and FM broadcast bands, this looks like something a lobbyist pushed through for the benefit of his broadcast industry clients.  It takes little effort to get approved since no one is going to oppose it. This is another law that gives the illusion of accomplishing something while actually doing nothing.

Just be glad they limited the frequency range as they did.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2020, 1104 UTC by NJQA »

Offline chanito

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
  • Karma: +3/-2
  • S.Texas
  • RF Exposeur
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2020, 2232 UTC »
Ok, Neil Peart is dead, and that sucks. That out of the way, and we're running a Rush Marathon on my neighborhood radio stations...  So, thing is, my station is parked on a intermod hellhole that if my signal isn't there is nothing more than a mish mash of several local FM broadcasters noise. Who cares if I put something of note there?
QSL to chanitotx@gmail.com
PCR-1000, PCR-1500, RSP1A, RSP1, VR-120D, HDT-1, Accurian HD, Royal 3000
Sigma SE-HF-X80, MFJ-1786, Caras HF-315, Belar LP-1A, SuperAntenna MP-1, RatShack 20-043 discone, MLA-30, 100' wire

Offline Azimuth Coordinator

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 201
  • Karma: +10/-0
  • Listen for Us on 5150 or 5190 Khz
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2020, 0000 UTC »
Well it's been a good run...  Anyone want to buy an FM Plant?  Looks like i'll be selling mine.
QTH: A Clandestine location on the East Coast
Watkins Johnson WJ-8716, WJ-8718A, WJ-8618B
Radio.Illuminati6150@Gmail.com

Offline JimIO

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 475
  • Karma: +2/-13
  • QTH I.O. MA
    • View Profile
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2020, 0117 UTC »
Nothing new on the FCC NOUO web page in over 3 months...    8)

~

Offline Dude111

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2020, 0240 UTC »
I read above someone said the FCC didnt want this....... If it does go into effect they dont have to enforce it if they dint want to do they? (If they dont want it to begin with)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 25144
  • Karma: +16/-0
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
Re: Pirate Act Passes Senate
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2020, 0953 UTC »
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 750 ft horizontal loop / 500 ft northeast beverage / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD/ 300 ft south beverage / 43m / 20m / 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree