The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) has announced that it has begun targeting property owners and managers for knowingly tolerating pirate broadcasting on their properties. The Bureau will provide written notice to property owners and managers that are believed to be ignoring or facilitating illegal broadcasting. Accused parties will have a designated period of time to remedy the problem before enforcement action moves forward. In notices issued today against three New York properties (3535 95th Street, 3512 99th Street, and 3520 97th Street), the property owners and managers were given 10 days to respond. Accused parties may be found liable even if a pirate station ceases operation but later resumes its activity at the same site.
The release of these enforcement notices represents the Commission’s exercise of its new authority, under the recently enacted PIRATE Act, to impose fines, up to $2 million, for knowingly facilitating illegal broadcasting. Separately, the Bureau and the Office of Managing Director released an Order amending the FCC’s rules to codify this new authority granted under the PIRATE Act.