Pirate Radio Legislation Poised to Move Through House Communications Sub-Committee

Federal legislation that would significantly increase fines and penalties for operating an illegal pirate radio will come one step closer to reality. On Wednesday June 13, the House Subcommittee on Communications is scheduled to vote on H.R. 5709 the Preventing Illegal Radio Through Enforcement Act (PIRATE) Act.

The legislation would:
• Increase fines would increase up to $2million
• Property owners that knowingly allow pirate stations on their property could also be fined up to $2 million
• FCC would conduct two enforcement sweeps per year in markets with high concentrations of pirate stations
• Expedites the enforcement process for assessing fines
• Recognizes state law enforcement efforts

The legislation was sponsored by Congressman Paul Tonko (D NY Albany) and Leonard Lance (R NJ). Congressman Chris Collins (R Buffalo/Rochester) has been a leader on the legislation. NYSBA president David Donovan is in Washington DC lobbying this issue.