REC Position Statement: Pirate Radio
REC feels that one of the primary motivators of radio piracy is to address the fact that local commercial and non-commercial radio is not addressing the needs of the minority audiences of the community in question.
REC does not condone radio piracy as transmission systems may not use equipment that is of sound engineering practice and due to the lack of coordination in spectrum use as it could create harmful interference, both inside and outside the broadcast band.
REC feels that low power broadcasting solutions including a more available LPFM service, the creation of a Low Power AM service and some liberalization of the the Part 15 intentional radiator regulations in both the AM and FM broadcast spectrum would address many of the issues that the minority communities face that drive some to commit radio piracy.
REC feels that federal regulation, enforced through the FCC is sufficient to address spectrum issues such as radio piracy. We do not feel that state regulations that enforce federal communications law should be imposed as it creates a state of double jeopardy for offenders.
REC supports full enforcement of federal communications law by federal officials, especially if the offending intentional radiator is creating actual interference to another broadcast station within their service contour and especially if such transmissions are creating actual interference to safety of life communications.
REC also feels that the wider availability of municipal broadband services and overall universal broadband access will allow minority voices to find a place to be heard outside the broadcast spectrum but still have an effective reach through personal computers and mobile devices. With this needs to come a more reasonable approach to music and other content licensing.
Groups who pirate just want to be heard. We need to come up with ways for them to be heard using legal channels.