rfb v. FCC In Stasis

When the FCC was denied an injunction against radio free brattleboro in March of 2004, Federal District Judge J. Garvan Murtha suggested the agency and station enter into talks to try to figure out a compromise whereby rfb might broadcast legally. Instead the FCC went to a Federal Magistrate and got a warrant to execute a station raid in June of 2005. Instead of playing ball with rfb, the FCC went and found a friendlier court. Justice in action?

This week radio free brattleboro’s attorney formally announced the collapse of all dialogue, as civil actions still wend their way through two courts in Vermont. Read More

The Internet’s Relative Impermanence

If there is one thing that still sucks about the online world is that it can be so transitory – data here today may disappear tomorrow. At least other info-storage formats degrade on scales measured in years. Whether it be due to site closure, redesign, or (blech) registration compulsion, it’s always sad when I link-check this site and discover what’s no longer there.

This particular run-through made me weep because some significant “primary source” material, especially relevant to the history of microradio, has given up the ghost: Radio4all.org and its news archive; microradio.net; all of the microradio briefs written by the National Lawyer’s Guild Committee on Democratic Communications; and the UK info-trove Y2Kpirates. Read More

KBFR Airchecks Online

I am remiss in mentioning this, but the audio archives of KBFR, Boulder Free Radio, are going online via ClickCaster. The aim is to share much of the live, in-studio performances brought by the station over its four-year run. It’s great the station can leave behind such a memorable record of the musical community it served and helped to sustain.

Relatedly, the old KBFR blog has morphed somewhat since the station’s demise and still shows signs of life. This includes the posting of some KBFR documentary history, which is cool to read through.

Scene Reports: Illinois, Louisiana

Illinois: It seems that a group of folks headed out after the WRFU barnraising to pay a visit to Springfield, the home of Mbanna Kantako‘s Human Rights Radio. They found Kantako and the station in good spirits, albeit at extremely low power, thanks to a blown amplifier, which is now under repair.

Kantako celebrates his 18th nearly-uninterrupted year on the air in five days – a large portion of which has been archived on tape. Read More

Scene Reports: California, U.K.

California: there’s been lots happening in San Diego. 106.9FM has voluntary signed off after running out of funds to broadcast. According to the station blog it’s hoped the hiatus is only temporary. Meanwhile Free Radio San Diego returned to the air over Halloween weekend, three months after it was raided and cleaned out by the FCC. The signal strength is reportedly much weaker.

San Diego has also recently been the site of some serious FCC enforcement involving other forms of unlicensed operation. Specifically, the use of point-to-point microwave radio communications between corporations in the San Diego area and “sister companies” located over the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana. The FCC has issued 11 Notices of Apparent Liability against 10 companies, seeking to collect a total of $86,000. Read More