Radio pirates outlawed in New York


Like Florida and a few other states, New York now has a state law which makes it illegal to operate an unlicensed AM or FM radio station. That makes it easier to move quickly against radio pirates, who are already breaking federal law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has signed a bill passed by the state legislature making the operation of an AM or FM radio station without a license illegal in the state of New York. Violations will be treated as a “Class A” misdemeanor.  

The new law gives local law enforcement an important tool to protect consumers and stem the tide of illegal radio operation in New York, according to the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA), which had supported the legislation..

“New York’s licensed radio stations serve their local communities by providing life-saving information during emergencies, daily news and entertainment. Unfortunately, many consumers cannot receive emergency information or enjoy their favorite radio station because of technical interference from illegal operators. Unlicensed operators simply ignore consumer protection laws and the public interest responsibilities that guide every licensed radio station throughout the Empire State,” said NYSBA President David Donovan.

“On behalf of all New York radio listeners, we want to thank the Governor Cuomo as well as the legislation’s co-sponsors Senator Stephen Saland [R-Poughkeepsie] and Assemblyman George Latimer [D-Rye] for their tireless efforts in moving this legislation forward. We look forward to working with local law enforcement authorities throughout the state and the Federal Communications Commission to implement this important legislation,” Donovan added.

RBR-TVBR observation: Time and again we’ve read how pirate radio operators have refused to cooperate with FCC field agents who show up at their door. No doubt it helps to have officers in uniform also knocking at the door to deliver the message that operating a pirate station is a real crime, not a game.