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N.Y. Governor Signs Anti-Pirate Bill

State association praises law to make illegal station operation a misdemeanor

Members of the New York State Broadcasters Association are ecstatic over a new law that makes it illegal to operate a radio station without a license.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation making pirate operation in the state a “Class A” misdemeanor. Florida and New Jersey, other states where pirate radio is a particular problem, have similar laws.

Proponents say the legislation gives local law enforcement an important tool to help them prosecute pirates and confiscate equipment.

New York State Broadcasters Association President David Donovan said licensed radio stations air life-saving information during emergencies, as well as daily news and entertainment, but “many consumers cannot receive emergency information or enjoy their favorite radio station because of technical interference from illegal operators. Unlicensed operators simply ignore consumer protection laws and the public interest responsibilities” that guide licensed radio stations.

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