Several years ago, NYSBA was instrumental in getting Congress to enact the PIRATE Act, which increased FCC penalties for operating an illegal pirate radio station. The new law also created liability for property owners who knowingly allow illegal stations to operate on their property.
Last week the FCC issued notices to 16 property owners in New York and New Jersey asking them to take steps to discontinue pirate radio operations on their property. The list of illegal stations includes:
87.9 FM - Newark, NJ
97.5 FM - Brooklyn, NY
88.5 FM – Irvington, NJ
99.3 FM – Paterson, NJ
88.5 FM - St Albans, NY
99.7 FM- Brooklyn, NY
88.9 FM - Bronx, NY
99.9 FM – Brooklyn, NY
90.9 FM – Irvington, NJ
100.7 FM Brooklyn, NY
91.7 FM – Maplewood, NJ
101.7 FM – Bronx, NY
91.9 FM – Brooklyn, NY
102.1 FM – Orange, NJ
95.9 FM - Brooklyn, NY
107.9 FM – Brooklyn, NY
In its press release, the FCC stated:
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau today issued sixteen warnings to landowners in the New York City/New Jersey metro area for apparently allowing illegal broadcasting from their property. The FCC may issue a fine exceeding $2 million if it determines that the party continued to permit any individual or entity to engage in pirate radio broadcasting from any property that they own or manage.
'The law is clear: owners can no longer turn a blind eye to pirate radio operations on their property,' said Loyaan A. Egal, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. 'Such activities can interfere with licensed broadcast signals and do not meet the emergency alerting responsibilities of lawful radio stations. I want to thank our field agents for their widespread sweep for illegal broadcasts and for their ongoing vigilance.'”
The Notices of Illegal Pirate Radio Broadcasting sent by the FCC target properties identified by Bureau field agents as sources of pirate radio transmissions during the Bureau’s 2022-2023 New York Pirate Sweeps. The PIRATE Act gives the FCC the authority to impose fines on property owners up to a maximum of $2 million.
Based on these decisions, the FCC appears to be conducting “pirate radio” sweeps in the New York Metro area. We strongly support the steps taken by the FCC to increase enforcement.
You can see all 16 of the FCC’s enforcement actions against property owners here.