Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Part 15 distiction and the battle against piracy

A new FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY has been issued today, and brought to attention of part 15 operators thanks to Bill Defelice of
DA 16-159 March 1, 2016, Enforcement Advisory No. 2016-02..


The two page public document doesn't really present any new information, it's more a re-emphasis of the FCC's stance against pirates, and as part of the current increase of battle against pirates, the FCC has sent this advisory out to the following groups and organizations:
"United States Conference of Mayors, National Association of Chiefs of Police, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, National Association of Residential Property Managers, American Association of Advertising Agencies, National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, National Association of Attorneys General, American Advertising Federation, National Association of Realtors, National Property Management Association, and the Rental Property Owners Association."

Of particular note is that the document also provides a distinction between the legal part 15 broadcasters and illegal pirates, on page 1 (excerpts):

Federal law prohibits operating radio broadcasting equipment in most cases without an FCC license.. ..This prohibition does not discriminate by size of operations, applying equally to the rebellious high school kid operating a radio station from his bedroom as it does to slick and sophisticated high-powered illegal broadcast operations...  ..Thus, in order to use or operate a radio station, the Communications Act requires that you first obtain a license from the FCC.2
..There are certain limited exceptions. For example, the Commission has provided authorization by rule to operators of CB radio, radio control stations, and some domestic ship and aircraft radios. In addition, the Commission has
authorized the operation of certain low power radios pursuant to Part 15 of the Commission's Rules. As a result, operators of these radio facilities are not required to have individual licenses. However, these operators are required to operate their stations in a manner consistent with the Commission's operational and technical rules for those services..."

Evidently, some feel the distinction is not being emphasized enough, and maybe it's not, after all the section which clearly points out that part 15 stations are legally operating entities, and do not fall under the category of pirates, is written in smaller print..
But the acknowledgement is at least there; part 15 broadcasting is legal, and that's a good thing.

More about this story in Radio World: However, the writer of that article completely omits the part about part 15 in his reporting.. But I was sure to point it out in the user comments..

I was surprised when I received this email:
It was enthusing getting the email, and his going back to "tweak" the article was an honorable gesture, but the providing the link to the famed "200 foot" comment, was, unfortunately a bit of a letdown.. But at least legal part 15 was acknowledged, as follows...
"[What forms of unlicensed operation are legal on the AM and FM bands? Read the FCC language on that here.] "

For more about the 200 foot, see the previous post here:

Be sure to read an excellent article concerning this same topic found in another Radio World issue from June 2015:
Distinguish Pirates From Part 15 Operators

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