Thursday, December 22, 2005

Answer: Radio, Butt, and Of the Caribbean

Question: What are "Pirates", Alex?

Correct.

We're all familiar with Internet radio stations, satellite radio, and podcasts, but did you know there was another forum for broadcasting sound in the US that is not controlled by the FCC? Pirate Radio is not just a term from the days of Wolfman Jack, but it actually exists today in cities across the country!

If you listen to Free Radio 96.9 FM, which just recently came back on the air in San Diego, or if you regularly tune to 101.1 FM in the Santa Cruz area, then you already know what I'm talking about. If you lived in the Berkeley area before June 1998, maybe you listened to Free Radio Berkeley on 104.1 FM before it was shut down by court order.

Some quotes from some of these station's websites:

Free Radio Santa Cruz has been on the air for over ten years without a license. We broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in defiance of federal regulations.

If the FCC shows up at your unlicensed radio station, Free Radio Berkeley recommends: do not freak out, they are only Federal geeks with badges, no guns unless they bring backup support which is rare unless they are really serious about seizing your transmitter.

From Free Radio Olympia: In the form and spirit of direct action, in solidarity with the worldwide micro-radio movement, and as a challenge to the so-called "authorities" whose authority we do not recognize, we broadcast without a license over Olympia's airwaves.

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