Summary: H.R.5709 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (07/23/2018)

Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act or the PIRATE Act

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to address unlicensed radio broadcasting (called "pirating"), including:

  • increasing the fine for a pirate radio broadcasting violation to not more than $2 million,
  • imposing a fine of up to $100,000 per day for pirating violations subject to the $2 million limit, and
  • establishing a fine of up to $2 million for any person who facilitates pirate radio broadcasting ("facilitating" includes providing access to property or providing physical goods or services).   

The FCC must: (1) annually report to Congress summarizing implementation of this bill and associated enforcement activities for the previous fiscal year; and (2) at least once a year, assign appropriate enforcement personnel to focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of pirate radio broadcasting within the top five radio markets.

The FCC may not preempt any state or local law prohibiting pirate radio broadcasting.

The FCC shall: (1) revise its rules to require that, absent good cause, in any case alleging a violation, it shall proceed directly to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability without first issuing a Notice of Unlicensed Operations; and (2) publish a database of all licensed radio stations operating in the AM and FM bands, which shall be easily accessible from the FCC home page, identifying each licensed station and all entities that have received a Notice of Unlicensed Operation, Notice of Apparent Liability, or Forfeiture Order by the FCC.

(Sec. 3) No additional funds are authorized to carry out this bill.