July 2013
M T W T F S S
« Jun   Aug »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Archives

Categories

Et tu, Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts house is considering a bill to outlaw unauthorized transmission in the AM and FM broadcast band. The bill, H.1679 is included here for your reading pleasure:

SECTION 1: The General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after chapter 93I, the following chapter:-

Chapter 93J. UNAUTHORIZED RADIO TELECOMMUNICATION

Section 1. As used in this chapter the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—

“Emission”, radiation produced, or the production of radiation, by a radio transmitting station.

“License”, a radio frequency assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for use by amplitude modulation (AM) radio stations between the frequencies of five hundred thirty kilohertz (kHz) to seventeen hundred kilohertz (kHz), or frequency modulation (FM) radio stations between the frequencies of eighty-eight megahertz (MHz) to one hundred eight megahertz (MHz).

“Person”, a natural person, corporation, association, partnership or other legal entity.

“Radio telecommunication”, any transmission, emission or reception of signals and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems

Section 2. Any unauthorized radio telecommunication or emission to, or interference with, a public or commercial radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission are prohibited.

No person shall (a) make, or cause to be made, a radio telecommunication in the Commonwealth unless the person obtains a license or an exemption from licensure from the Federal Communications Commission under 47 U.S.C. s. 301, 47 U.S.C., s. 605, or other applicable federal law or regulation; or (b) do any act, whether direct or indirect, to cause an unlicensed radio telecommunication to, or inference with, a public or commercial radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission or to enable the radio telecommunication or interference to occur.

Section 3. The attorney general may bring an action pursuant to section 4 of chapter 93A against a person or otherwise to remedy violations of this chapter and for other relief that may be appropriate.

Section 4. A person may assert a claim under this section in superior court, whether by way of original complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party action, for money damages, injunctive relief, and forfeiture of any property used in violation of this section. Said damages may include double or treble damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

No forfeiture under this section shall extinguish a perfected security interest held by a creditor in a conveyance or in any real property or in any personal property at the time of the filing of the forfeiture action. Said forfeiture action shall be commenced in superior court.

This legislation is slightly different from the anti-pirate laws in NY and Florida as it appears the unauthorized operators would be liable for civil and not criminal penalties.  That is an interesting twist; potentially, a commercial broadcaster could sue an interfering pirate operator for loss of revenue, etc.  At least that is my interpretation of the above text and as I am not an attorney, I could be wrong.

It is also interesting to me that very few pirate operators in NY have actually faced a non-FCC law enforcement agency as of yet.  I have heard about only one, which was in NYC.  Is the criminalization of unauthorized broadcaster really affective in curbing pirates?  A quick tune around the NYC FM dial says no.  There are more pirates than ever and the NYPD seems to be too busy with other issues to go after them.

Be Sociable, Share!

5 comments to Et tu, Massachusetts?

  • Alan

    Next time I visit Massachusetts, I have to remember to bring my camera to take a picture of that 70-foot-tall continuous copper mesh fence they’ll be building all along the borders of New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island.
    You know, to keep those unlicensed stations people will be building just over the state line from beaming their evil subversive low-power signals into the Bay State without fear of reprisal.
    Sheesh…

  • It does indeed seem that the NYPD spends way too much time pursuing dangerous and violent criminals, when it *should* be out there chasing those pesky, annoying pirate radio operators… or so their state legislature seems to think. 😀

    Problem for them is, most local police departments don’t have the necessary expertise or equipment for direction-finding pirate radio transmitters without enlisting help from the FCC– and the FCC is pretty overwhelmed with that already

  • I agree, pirates are a problem for those using the radio spectrum in a responsible manner but state gumshoes are hardly in a position to differentiate things such as a legal, Part 15 radio enthusiast from a blatant pirate radio operator. Also, why should state taxpayers foot the bill for something that should be handled by the federal government agency that is responsible for policing the RF spectrum? Anybody remember the Federal Communication Commission? Yeah, those guys!

    I can only guess the state’s police departments don’t have enough “crime” to go chase after. All it’s going to take is for a police department to “bust” a Part 15 radio enthusiast with sufficient knowledge to go after both the police department and the state. The first time they are made an example of they’ll realize they are in no position to be in the radio policing business

    Bill DeFelice
    Webmaster
    HobbyBroadcaster.net

  • Robinsmark

    FM Pirates. This is interesting that a state government would bother to do this considering that the FCC some years ago tried to silence a San Francisco Cal. pirate and requested that the city police go along on the raid, and the city refused!

  • Erik Bagby

    Just a thought, but maybe if the Mass State Police weren’t so busy chasing down “Edward Teach” and his Ramsey FM-100B, they would have found the Boston Bombers before they mangled and murdered people at the Boston Marathon….nothing like a corporate sponsored government who ALWAYS have our (their) best interests at heart.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Axiom


A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
~1st amendment to the United States Constitution

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
~Benjamin Franklin

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. To be your own man is hard business. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
~Rudyard Kipling

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers
~Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Article 19

...radio was discovered, and not invented, and that these frequencies and principles were always in existence long before man was aware of them. Therefore, no one owns them. They are there as free as sunlight, which is a higher frequency form of the same energy.
~Alan Weiner

Free counters!