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Unlicensed broadcasting, also called pirate broadcasting is a term used for any type of broadcasting without a broadcast license.
Some unlicensed broadcasting, such as certain low-power broadcasting, may be legal. For example, in the United States, Title 47 CFR Part 15 (or "part 15"), is a regulation that allows unlicensed broadcasting within a range of just a few meters. Legal broadcast methods may include ISM bands, used legally at low power to broadcast for personal use, a video sender, used to distribute video (sometimes wireless security cameras) within a home or small business, or FM transmitters, used to transmit satellite radio or digital media players to stereo systems which have no wired input (i.e. car radios).
The term "pirate broadcasting," by contrast, is almost always used to indicate broadcasting that is illegal, particularly as applied to pirate radio and pirate television. The justifications usually given for legal prohibitions on broadcasting include the need to keep certain broadcast frequencies open for emergency communications, the need to control the broadcasting of material that is obscene or violates copyrights, and the preservation of government revenue derived from licensing airwaves.
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The ISM radio bands are portions of the radio spectrum reserved internationally for industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) purposes other than telecommunications. Examples of applications for the use of radio frequency (RF) energy in these bands include radio-frequency process heating, microwave ovens, and medical diathermy machines. The powerful emissions of these devices can create electromagnetic interference and disrupt radio communication using the same frequency, so these devices are limited to certain bands of frequencies. In general, communications equipment operating in these bands must tolerate any interference generated by ISM applications, and users have no regulatory protection from ISM device operation.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent agency of the United States government that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable across the United States. The FCC maintains jurisdiction over the areas of broadband access, fair competition, radio frequency use, media responsibility, public safety, and homeland security.
In electronics and telecommunications a transmitter or radio transmitter is an electronic device which produces radio waves with an antenna. The transmitter itself generates a radio frequency alternating current, which is applied to the antenna. When excited by this alternating current, the antenna radiates radio waves.
Pirate radio or a pirate radio station is a radio station that broadcasts without a valid license.
Low-power broadcasting is broadcasting by a broadcast station at a low electric power to a smaller service area than "full power" stations within the same region. It is often distinguished from "micropower broadcasting" and broadcast translators. LPAM, LPFM and LPTV are in various levels of use across the world, varying widely based on the laws and their enforcement.
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 15 is an oft-quoted part of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations regarding unlicensed transmissions. It is a part of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and regulates everything from spurious emissions to unlicensed low-power broadcasting. Nearly every electronics device sold inside the United States radiates unintentional emissions, and must be reviewed to comply with Part 15 before it can be advertised or sold in the US market.
Station identification is the practice of radio or television stations or networks identifying themselves on-air, typically by means of a call sign or brand name. This may be to satisfy requirements of licensing authorities, a form of branding or a combination of both. As such, it is closely related to production logos, used in television and cinema alike.
Pirate radio stations have operated in various countries of Asia, often putting over political or nationalist points of view. Offshore stations have attempted to reach China or overseas Chinese residents. Citizens' Radio is an unlicensed Hong Kong pro-democracy station. In Taiwan, what are known as "underground radio" stations have broadcast both pro- and anti-government opinions. Large numbers of unlicensed stations have functioned in the Philippines, of which 107.9 U-Radio (2006–2013) is among the best known. Finally, Radio First Termer was briefly operated by and for U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1971.
The strict definition of a pirate radio station is a station that operates from sovereign territory without a broadcasting license, or just beyond the territorial waters of a sovereign nation from on board a ship or other marine structure with the intention of broadcasting to that nation without obtaining a broadcasting license from that nation.
A UK Restricted Service Licence, is typically granted to radio stations and television stations broadcasting within the UK to serve a local community or a special event. Licences are granted by the broadcasting authority Ofcom.
Pirate radio in the United Kingdom (UK) has been a popular and enduring radio medium since the 1960s, despite expansions in licensed broadcasting, and the advent of both digital radio and internet radio. Although it peaked throughout the 1960s and again during the 1980s/1990s, it remains in existence today. Having moved from transmitting from ships in the sea to towerblocks across UK towns and cities, in 2009 the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom estimated more than 150 pirate radio stations were still operating.
A broadcast license is a type of spectrum license granting the licensee permission to use a portion of the radio frequency spectrum in a given geographical area for broadcasting purposes. The licenses generally include restrictions, which vary from band to band.
Microbroadcasting is the process of broadcasting a message to a relatively small audience. This is not to be confused with low-power broadcasting.
High school radio are radio stations located at high schools and usually operated by its students with faculty supervision. Stations fitting this description existed in the mid-1920s. Little is recorded about these stations, but like other low-powered stations of the era, their programming would tend to be sporadic, with music and readings performed live by the station's performers – the era of playing records would not be established until the 1950s. The combination of the Great Depression of the early 1930s and new restrictions enacted by the Federal Communications Commission forced all of the high school stations off the air by 1934.
A television station is a set of equipment managed by a business, organisation or other entity, such as an amateur television (ATV) operator, that transmits video content and audio content via radio waves directly from a transmitter on the earth's surface to any number of tuned receivers simultaneously. Most often the term refers to a station which broadcasts structured content to an audience or it refers to the organization that operates the station. A terrestrial television transmission can occur via analog television signals or, more recently, via digital television signals. Television stations are differentiated from cable television or other video providers in that their content is broadcast via terrestrial radio waves. A group of television stations with common ownership or affiliation are known as a TV network and an individual station within the network is referred to as O&O or affiliate, respectively.
Broadcast law is the field of law that pertains to broadcasting. These laws and regulations pertain to radio stations and TV stations, and are also considered to include closely related services like cable TV and cable radio, as well as satellite TV and satellite radio. Likewise, it also extends to broadcast networks.
A personal FM transmitter is a low-power FM radio transmitter that broadcasts a signal from a portable audio device to a standard FM radio. Most of these transmitters plug into the device's headphone jack and then broadcast the signal over an FM broadcast band frequency, so that it can be picked up by any nearby radio. This allows portable audio devices to make use of the louder or better sound quality of a home audio system or car stereo without requiring a wired connection. They are often used in cars but may also be in fixed locations such as broadcasting from a computer sound card throughout a building.
Pirate Cat Radio was a low power community radio station that had been broadcasting since April 1996, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The station was one of several unlicensed radio stations operating in the San Francisco Bay Area.