Some interesting developments in the pirate radio world. It seems the state of Florida just passed a new state law making pirate radio a FELONY. This does not bode well for the pirate world. One reason it works is the FCC doesn't have the resources to really police all the pirate stations out there. And once a pirate figures out that they may be able to find them and tell them to shut down, the actual process of doing it is limited. If you stand up to the FCC, and you're reasonably clever about how you do it, you can stay on the air for years.

This new development in Florida changes all that. If turning on a box that puts out the power of a 40-50 watt light bulb becomes a felony, and the full force of a state or cities police force is brought to bare on pirates, you can bet there won't be many of them around after the first FCC visit that includes a police officer.

The cops aren't at fault here. They're just doing their jobs (upholding the law). It's the (mostly Republican) Florida lawmakers (the same folks that brought you President George W. Bush). They know that control of media means contol of power. Especially big media. Stamp out the little guys shouting the truth from the rooftops and you'll be able to control the majority of public opinion.

Everyone should write an email to these folks. The governer of the state (George W's bro) and the members of the state legislature. Particularly the bills sponser who's email is: villalobos.alex.web@

Read the story below. I particularly noted the comment by Sen. Vicor Crist: "In the old days, they didn't just hang the captain of the pirate ship. They hang the whole crew

Thats YOU he's talking about folks.

Check this out:

Senate bill would crack down on illegal radio stations

Associated Press Writer

Last update: 23 April 2004

TALLAHASSEE -- There's no need to adjust the dial, because the Senate's signal is clear -- pirate radio stations operating in Florida should be facing stiff penalties.

It would become a third-degree felony to operate radio stations or interfere with radio transmissions without a Federal Communications Commission license, under a bill (SB 2714) the Senate passed Thursday.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, said the illegal transmissions "bleed" into legitimate commercial stations and could interfere with emergency transmissions. Though the federal government typically oversees radio transmissions, Villalobos said the state needed to help the process.

"There are federal regulations to deal with this. There's just no one to enforce those federal regulations right now," he said. "When you open up a radio station, that's a privilege. That's not a right, that's a privilege."

Earlier this month, four Florida stations -- including one that broke into radio transmissions at the Lantana and Palm Beach International airports -- were shut down after warnings from the FCC, which says 26 other stations statewide are still under investigation.

The bill passed the Senate 30-8. Companion legislation (HB 1197) is now ready for a full House vote.

Some senators worried that raids on the illegal operations would only affect young disc jockeys, working part-time jobs for some extra money, instead of the owners and operators who invest in the expensive transmission equipment. But their efforts to amend the bill failed.

"Let's get at the real people. That's the people that own these radio stations," said Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville. "They're going to get away. ... They're going to just go set up somewhere else, but these kids are going to be branded for life."

Others said Florida should crack down on anyone involved with these operations.

"They regulate the radio business for a reason," said Sen. Victor Crist, R-Tampa. "In the old days, they didn't just hang the captain of the pirate ship. They hang the whole crew."

There were other questions about whether the state needed to step into the regulatory process at all.

"Do we want bigger government, or do we want smaller government?" asked Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando.


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