The term pirate radio usually refers to illegal or unregulated radio transmissions. Its etymology can be traced to both the illegal aspects of the transmission, as well as to the occasional use of sea vessels - fitting the most common perception of a pirate - as the base for the transmissions. Etymology is the study of the History of Words &mdash when they entered a language from what source and how their form and meaning have changed over time Piracy is Robbery committed at sea or sometimes on shore without a commission from a sovereign Nation (as distinct from Privateering The term is most commonly used to describe illegal broadcasting for entertainment or political purposes, but is also sometimes used for illegal two-way radio operation. two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive (a Transceiver) unlike a broadcast receiver which only receives content Rules and regulations vary widely from country to country. In countries such as the USA and many countries in Europe, many types of radio licenses exist, and often the term pirate radio generally describes the unlicensed broadcasting of FM radio, AM radio, or short wave signals over a significant coverage area that could be picked up by listeners. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the See also Frequency modulation, FM band FM broadcasting is a broadcast Technology invented by Edwin Howard Armstrong that Shortwave Radio operates between the frequencies of 3000 KHz (3
Sometimes radio stations are deemed legal where the signal is transmitted, but illegal and considered "pirate stations" where the signals are received—especially when the signals cross a country's border. In other cases, a broadcast may be considered "pirate" due to the nature of its content, its transmission format (especially a failure to transmit a station identification according to regulations), or the transmit power (wattage) of the station, even if the transmission is not technically illegal (such as a web cast or an amateur radio transmission). Station identification (sometimes called a sounder or stinger) is the practice of any type of Radio or Television station or network A webcast is a media file distributed over the Internet using Streaming media technology Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a Hobby and a service in which participants called "hams" use various types of Radio communications Therefore pirate radio can sometimes mean different things to different people. Pirate radio stations are sometimes called bootleg stations (a term especially associated with two-way radio), clandestine stations or Free Radio stations. two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive (a Transceiver) unlike a broadcast receiver which only receives content
Denmark had the first known radio station in the world to broadcast commercial radio from a vessel in international waters without permission from the authorities in the country that it broadcast to (Denmark in this case). The station was named Radio Mercury and began transmission on August 2nd 1958. In the Danish newspapers it was soon called a "pirate radio".
In the 1960s in the UK, the term referred to not only a perceived theft of the state-run airwaves by the unlicensed broadcasters but also the risk-taking nature of offshore radio stations that actually operated on anchored ships or marine platforms.
A good example of this kind of activity was Radio Luxembourg located in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Radio Luxembourg is a commercial broadcaster in many languages from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Luxembourg (Groussherzogtum Lëtzebuerg Grand-Duché de Luxembourg Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a small Landlocked country in Western Europe, bordered by The English language evening broadcasts from Radio Luxembourg were intentionally beamed toward the British Islands by Luxembourg licensed transmitters, while the intended audience in the United Kingdom originally listened to their radio sets by permission of a Wireless License issued by the British General Post Office (GPO). The term British Islands is used in the law of the United Kingdom to refer collectively to the following four states the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Radio is the transmission of signals by Modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible Light. Wireless communication is the transfer of information over a distance without the use of electrical conductors or " Wires quot The General Post Office (GPO was officially established in England in 1660 by Charles II and it eventually grew to combine the functions of both the state However, under terms of that Wireless License, it was an offense under the Wireless Telegraphy Act to listen to unauthorized broadcasts, which possibly included those transmitted by Radio Luxembourg. The Wireless Telegraphy Acts are laws regulating radio communications in the United Kingdom. Therefore as far as the British authorities were concerned, Radio Luxembourg was a "pirate radio station" and British listeners to the station were breaking the law (although as the term 'unauthorised' was never properly defined it was somewhat of a legal grey area). This did not stop British newspapers from printing programme schedules for the station, or a British weekly magazine aimed at teenage girls, "Fab 208" from promoting the deejays and their lifestyle (Radio Luxembourg's wavelength was 208 metres (1440 kHz)).
Radio Luxembourg was later joined by two other well known pirate stations received in the UK in violation of UK licensing, Radio Caroline and Radio London, both of which broadcast from vessels anchored outside of territorial limits and were therefore legitimate but unauthorised in much the same way as Luxembourg. Radio Caroline is a European Radio station that started transmissions on Easter Sunday 1964 from a ship anchored in International waters off the coast of Indeed, all three stations even had registered offices based in mainland UK.
Where actual sea faring vessels are not involved, the term pirate radio is a political term of convenience as the word "pirate" suggests an illegal venture, regardless of the broadcasts actual legal status. Piracy is Robbery committed at sea or sometimes on shore without a commission from a sovereign Nation (as distinct from Privateering The radio station XERF located at Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, USA, is an example. The call letters XERF-AM are assigned to a licensed border-blaster radio station that was located in Villa Acuña, Coahuila, (later renamed Ciudad Acuña Coahuila, formally Coahuila de Zaragoza is one of Mexico 's 31 component states. The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Del Rio is a border city in and the County seat of Val Verde County, Texas, United States. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
While Mexico issued radio station XERF with a license to broadcast, the power of its 250,000 watts transmitter was far greater than the maximum of 50,000 watts authorized for commercial use by the government of the United States of America. The watt (symbol W) is the SI derived unit of power, equal to one Joule of energy per Second. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Consequently, XERF and many other radio stations in Mexico, which sold their broadcasting time to sponsors of English-language commercial and religious programs, were labelled as "border blasters", but not "pirate radio stations", even though the content of many of their programs were in violation of US law. A border blaster is a licensed commercial Radio station that transmits at very high power from one nation to another Predecessors to XERF, for instance, had originally broadcast in Kansas, advocating "goat-gland surgery" for improved masculinity, but moved to Mexico to evade US laws about advertising medical treatments, particularly unproven ones. Kansas ( is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American "
In 1924, New York City station WHN was accused of being an "outlaw" station by AT&T (then American Telephone and Telegraph Company) for violating trade licenses which permitted only AT&T stations to sell airtime on their transmitters. The City of New York An outlaw or bandit is a person living the lifestyle of outlawry; the word literally means "outside the Law " by folk-etymology from the original Before proposing a merge request please see Talk and see if the merger you propose has recently been made and Before proposing a merge request please see Talk and see if the merger you propose has recently been made and For the band see Broadcast (band Broadcasting is the distribution of audio and/or Video signals which transmit As a result of the AT&T interpretation a landmark case was heard in court, which even prompted comments from Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover when he took a public stand in the station's defence. The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry the Department states its mission to Herbert Clark Hoover (August 10 1874 &ndash October 20 1964 was the thirty-first President of the United States (1929–1933 Although AT&T won its case, the furore created was such that those restrictive provisions of the transmitter license were never enforced.
Another variation on the term pirate radio came about during the "Summer of Love" in San Francisco during the hippie days when many things were named "free". This article refers to the summer of 1967 For the film of a similar name please go to My Summer of Love. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city The Hippie Subculture was originally a Youth movement that began in the United States during the early 1960s and spread around the world Examples include "free store", "free love" and even "free radio", which usually referred to clandestine and unlicensed land-based transmissions. The term free love has been used since at least the nineteenth century to describe a Social movement that rejects Marriage, which is seen as a form These were also tagged as being pirate radio transmissions.
The term free radio crossed the Atlantic Ocean, where it was adopted by the Free Radio Association of listeners who defended the rights of the offshore "pirate radio stations" broadcasting from ships and marine structures off the coastline of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located However, the term free radio also has another meaning, because it differentiates between that form of licensed broadcasting supported by the sale of commercial airtime which anyone can hear free of charge, from that form of licensed commercial broadcasting (especially television) that listeners and especially viewers have to subscribe to and which is usually known as Pay TV.
Félix Guattari points out:
|“||Technological development, and in particular the miniaturization of transmitters and the fact that they can be put together by amateurs, 'encounters' a collective aspiration for some new means of expression.||”|
In Europe, in addition to adopting the term free radio, supportive listeners of what had been called pirate radio adopted the term offshore radio, which was usually the term used by the owners of the marine broadcasting stations. Offshore radio refers to the practice of Radio broadcasting from ships or fixed maritime structures usually in International waters.
Freebooter was yet another variation of the term pirate radio and it was sometimes used by the business press in the USA when describing marine broadcasting in Europe.
While pirate radio began as a defamatory term in Britain, it later became accepted as having a secondary meaning to describe adventurous forms of licensed broadcasting that had roots in true offshore unlicensed broadcasting. To this end the British licensing authorities have allowed both independent stations and to date even one local BBC station to use this name, while the government retained use of the term pirate radio to describe any stations on land or at sea, which are broadcasting without a license and contrary to law.
Since this subject covers both national territories, international waters and international airspace, the only effective way to treat this subject is on a country by country, international waters and international airspace basis. Because the laws vary, the interpretation of the term pirate radio also varies considerably.
Questions have been raised about various types of broadcasting conducted by national governments against the interests of other national governments, which have in turn created jamming stations transmitting noises on the same frequency so as to destroy the receivability of the incoming signal.
While the USA transmitted its programs towards the USSR, which attempted to jam them, in 1970 the government of the United Kingdom decided to employ a jamming transmitter to drown out the incoming transmissions from the commercial station Radio North Sea International, which was based aboard the Motor Vessel (MV) Mebo II anchored off Southeast England in the North Sea. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 Year 1970 ( MCMLXX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Radio Nordsee International ( RNI) also known as Radio North Sea International in English and Radio Noordzee International in South East England is one of the nine official Regions of England. The North Sea is a marginal, Epeiric sea of the Atlantic Ocean on the European Continental shelf.
Other examples of this type of unusual broadcasting include the Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Courier, which both originated and relayed broadcasts of the Voice of America from an anchorage at the island of Rhodes, Greece to Soviet bloc countries. USCGC Courier (WAGR/WAT-410 was a cutter in the United States Coast Guard. Voice of America ( VOA) is the official external radio and Television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. Rhodes (Ρόδος Ródos, ˈɾo̞ðo̞s Rodi ردوس Rodos; Ladino: Rodi or Rodes) is a Greek island Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία During the Cold War, the term Communist Bloc (or Soviet Bloc) was used to refer to the Soviet Union and countries it either controlled or that were Balloons have been flown above Key West, Florida to support the TV transmissions of TV Martí, which are directed at Cuba. Key West is a city in Monroe County Florida, United States. The city encompasses Key West, the namesake island the part of Stock Island Florida ( is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States, bordering Alabama to the northwest and Georgia to the TV Martí was created by the US government to provide news and current affairs programming to Cuba. The Republic of Cuba (ˈkjuːbə or) consists of the island of Cuba (the largest and second-most populous island of the Greater Antilles) Isla de la Military broadcasting aircraft have been flown over Vietnam, Iraq and many other nations by the United States Air Force. Vietnam (ˌviːɛtˈnɑːm Việt Nam) officially For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. The European Union financially supported a radio station broadcasting news and information into the former Yugoslavia from a ship anchored in international waters. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in See also Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia ( Serbo-Croatian
Pirate radio has long been synonymous with AM (LW,MW & SW) and FM (VHF) unlicensed broadcasting and "border blasting" in most parts of the world. With the advent of the internet, many conventional AM/FM radio stations have also taken to simulcasting via the web. These range from public broadcasters, licensed commercial radio, and in some countries, the 3rd tier of low power license exempt radio stations.
Despite pirate radio being known for over the air transmission, a new type of pirate radio stations now operate on-line. The distinguishing feature is that these on-line pirates will usually not pay music copyright fees, like most of their AM/FM pirate cousins. These on-line pirate radio stations will usually attract a small and loyal audience and may go unnoticed by the authorities, unlike AM/FM pirates who can easily be heard and traced on a conventional radio.
A recent case of on-line pirate radio was seen in the UK. Hitz Radio(UK) and not to be confused with HitzRadio. com (USA) managed to attract large amounts of mainstream media publicity in early 2007. This publicity resulted from Ryan Dunlop, the owner of the station, nominating Hitz Radio for various business awards. After this publicity, many people with radio industry knowledge began to probe the station, which had claimed "millions of fans" and tens of thousands of listeners on-line. These claims, along with others, were part of the portfolio put forward for the business awards. When industry insiders checked these claims, it resulted in the UK music copyright agencies PPL and MCPS-PRS Alliance chasing back fees owed by Ryan Dunlop and Hitz Radio. The MCPS-PRS Alliance - MCPS ( Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) and PRS ( Performing Right Society) are the not-for-profit UK collecting That in turn resulted in the audience claims to be false, based upon the amount of back dated fees owed for copyright.
Main article: Pirate radio in Asia
For individual listings under this heading please click the link above. An introduction to the subject of Pirate Radio can be found under that heading
China (From International Waters)
Taiwan (The history of Underground Radio)
Main article: Pirate radio in Australasia
For individual listings under this heading please click the link above. Australian radio audiences have had little to no exposure of Pirate radio.
New Zealand (From International Waters)
Main article: Pirate radio in Central America and Caribbean Sea
For individual listings under this heading please click the link above. Radio Swan was a Pirate radio station based in the Swan Islands, a group of islands in the western Caribbean Sea, near the coastline of Honduras
Swan Island (History of Radio Swan / Radio Americas)
Main article: Pirate radio in Europe
Main article: Pirate radio in the Middle East
For individual listings under this heading please click the link above. An introduction to the subject of Pirate radio can be found under that heading An introduction to the subject of Pirate Radio can be found under that heading An introduction to the subject of Pirate Radio can be found under that heading
Israel (From Territorial Waters)
Main article: Pirate radio in North America
For individual listings under this heading please click the link above. Cuba Government propaganda stations Since the 1960s and the advent of the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, the United States Cuba Government propaganda stations Since the 1960s and the advent of the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, the United States
Mexico (History of the "Border blasters")
United States of America (History of Pirate Radio; From International Waters)
Illegal use of licensed radio spectrum (also known as bootlegging in CB circles) is fairly common and takes several forms. A border blaster is a licensed commercial Radio station that transmits at very high power from one nation to another Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a Hobby and a service in which participants called "hams" use various types of Radio communications two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive (a Transceiver) unlike a broadcast receiver which only receives content The term pirate radio usually refers to illegal or unregulated radio transmissions