1998=1984?

An interesting little email has cropped up among microradio activists recently.

It stems from the recent bust and arrest of the operators of Black Cat Radio in Memphis, TN. The station ops weren’t arrested for the actual act of unlicensed broadcasting, but rather for jacking into the University of Memphis‘ electrical system to to power their transmitter as they broadcast from a parking garage on campus.

The email allegedly came from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it’s reproduced in its entirety below: Read More

Counting Your Chickens

We’ve all heard that old adage, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” While it’s an overused cliché, it’s very applicable to the free radio community right now.

The buzz in the movement is all about the two proposals for an LPFM service filed with the FCC over the past couple of weeks. It’s important to remain realistic. While the FCC has received both Petitions for Rulemaking and is currently accepting comments on them, we shouldn’t lose sight of some simple facts:

Free Radio remains illegal. Check this scenario: the FCC receives a complaint about a “pirate” in the area. Through their voluminous investigative means, they’re able to track down the “pirate.” After taking field measurements, the goons get permission to move in. As they drive up to the station, they can hear the signal strong and clear. The lead goon knocks on the door, and the station op opens it. As they muscle in, the op can be heard crying, “Wait! The rules are changing! What I’m doing won’t be illegal for long!” Read More

Free Radio Berkeley Wins Round in Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Lawyers Guild Committee on Democratic Communications

PRESS RELEASE

Court Rejects FCC’s Constitutional Catch 22

United States District Court Judge Claudia Wilken has rejected another attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to silence Berkeley Micro Radio Broadcaster Stephen Dunifer, founder of Free Radio Berkeley.

In a 13 page opinion released on November 12, 1997, Judge Wilken once again rejected the government’s motion for an injunction to silence micro radio broadcasts by local radio pioneer Stephen Dunifer. Read More