The House of Representatives has unanimously passed the “PIRATE” Act (H.R. 5709) – legislation introduced by Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) to combat illegal radio operations.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Increase fines for illegal pirate radio operation as much as $2 million for ignoring warnings to shut down a pirate station as a means for greater to deterrence and to ensure greater attention to the issue from federal law enforcement;
- Require enforcement sweeps in radio markets with the highest concentration of illegal pirate operations;
- Create liability for those who “knowingly” facilitate pirate operators, including property owners and businesses providing ‘physical goods or services’ to the unlicensed station; and
- Expedite the process for shutting down an illegal station.