We are happy to announce that President Trump has signed the PIRATE Act into law. Despite the FCC’s efforts, there are still hundreds of illegal station in and around New York City and Northern New Jersey. They are spreading. This legislation gives the FCC added tools to help eradicate this problem:
- Fines are increased to $100,000 per violation up to $2 million
- FCC shall conduct enforcement sweeps in the top five markets with the highest concentration of pirates
- Rather than issuing a warning notice, the FCC can directly issue a fine
- State laws, such as the New York Pirate Law, are recognized
- The FCC is required to post pirate information on its website
- FCC has to reports its efforts to Congress annually
We want to thank Congressman Paul Tonko (D. NY 20th) for sponsoring this legislation. He worked tirelessly to get the bill through the House. We also want to thank the Minority Leader Senator Charles Schumer. His leadership helped guide this legislation through the Senate. We also want to thank FCC Commissioner, Michael O’Rielly who has championed our cause at the FCC. FCC Chairman Agit Pai stated:
“Pirate radio is unlawful, period. These transmissions can interfere with licensed radio signals—including broadcasters’ sharing of vital public safety information with their communities. To enforce the law and protect American radio listeners and lawful businesses, the FCC has made a concerted effort in recent years to step up our enforcement efforts against pirate radio stations. I’m very proud of this work—led by our Enforcement Bureau and its outstanding field staff.
“The PIRATE Act provides the FCC with additional tools to combat pirate radio, and I thank President Trump for signing it into law. I also applaud Congress for working in a bipartisan manner to fight back against illegal broadcasting. Specifically, thank you to Senator Daines and Congressman Tonko for their leadership in seeing this important piece of legislation through. The FCC will continue to be an aggressive cop on the beat, cracking down on illegal broadcasting.”
It is worth noting that this new law received unanimous support in both the House and Senate. It is truly a bipartisan bill. We want to thank President Trump for taking quick action and signing the legislation into law.
Our efforts now shift to the FCC. We look forward to working with the Commission to implement the law. We will keep you posted.
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