Talk:Pirate radio

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The heading of this section was broken. -- (talk) 01:27, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

NO ONE CARE NEW MOON IS BETTERNEW MOON These links were removed from the main article under their own duplicate mirror heading and they need to be refiled under the proper categories and not lumped under the main section which is more in the form of an overview and directory. Fragilethreads 22:40, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

FM Transmiter[edit]

I have an FM transmitter and use it to play my songs in my stereo, I play them uncensored, id this illegal?? The signal doesnt go very far, but maybe a neighbor could pick it up.. Realg187 16:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

As long as you aren't pointing it at a service dish or something, your cool. If the neighbors notice, prank them. Prank them hard.
In some countries FM transmitters below a certain power level do not require require a broadcasting licence. In recent years many consumer devices have appeared on the market which exploit this fact and allow listeners to play music from devices such as portable MP3 players over nearby FM radios. Typically such devices only operate over a range of a few metres. (talk) 14:40, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Border Blasters[edit]

The border blasters article states that they aren't considered pirate radio because they are/were licensed in the country they were located in. Here, it says otherwise, listing them as "Pirate Radio in North America". Which is accurate? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 15:03, April 2, 2006 (UTC)

Needed for this article: history of pierate radio, notable stations, effects of pirate radio (eg UK's Radio Caroline led to the creation of the BBC's Radio 1). More than just "how to set up your own" ... -- Tarquin 19:38 Jan 29, 2003 (UTC)

As noted in my recent revision, Radio Caroline was not the first pirate radio station. Ship-based pirates had been around since at leat 1958, and they probably got the idea from the Voice of America's ship-based station of the 1950s, and a gambling ship off California may also have operated the world's first pirate station in the 1930s. There's a lot of history here, from the shooting of a pirate radio boss in 1966, the jamming of Radio Nordsee by the British Government in 1970 and its 1972 bombing by another station, the sinking of Radio Caroline in 1980 and the brief pirate renaissance of the 1980s...

It's a hell of a lot of material. I'd write the article myself if I could find out where I put the damn reference books. --Lee M

This page would benefit from description of legal aspects radio piracy. So far it is merely a Radio Pirate How-To. -- Przepla

I'm removing the how-to and placing it here. Several people seem to have made modifications here without doing so, so I'm a little worried that the consensus is that it ought to be there until the article is ready to be perfected. However, it really isn't encyclopedic, and if we want to learn from it, we can do so here. User:Monk who wrote this only made two contributions: this and the user page (which shows that this person is involved in pirate radio).

removed from the article:

This reference will deal with FM Pirate Radio in the US. The basics of pirate radio are simple.

Buy a transmitter (Broadcast Warehouse is one of the best but there are dozens of manufacurers all over the world). We favor the TX150 from Broadcast Warehouse. It's small in size, large in capabilities, professionally built and, although fairly expensive at around US$2500, will give you from 20 to 150 watts of pro level broadcasting wattage.

Deterine how powerful you want to be. The higher the wattage rating on the transmitter, the farther your signal is likely to go. Most pirate radio operators run under 100 watts of power and average around 20-40 watts.

Setting up a station with anything more than 200 watts is difficult due mostly to the cost of equipment. Over 200 watts requires that you start using more specialized and expensive equipment such as CP type antennas that handle higher than 200 watt ratings.

Get an antenna. You can build your own 'J-Pole type antenna from about US$5 of copper pipe from the local hardware store (search J-Pole in google for many designs and plans) or you can buy one. The Comet 5/8 wave antenna is one of the most popular, costs around $100 and has a power (wattage handling) rating of up to 200 watts.

Get your antenna as high as possible. Height=distance for your signal.

Hide your antenna. Trees are great places for antennas. Use camo paint to create a flat finish that matches the envrionment (green for trees, brown for branches, light blue/gray if it's out in the open with sky behind it etc.). The FCC will eventually find it, but make it hard for them. And if you're in an apartment environment, the more difficult it is to find the antenna, the less likely they'll be able to figure out which apartment it's in.

Use 50ohm cable (50 ft. lengths are available at RadioShack for about US$35) to connect your transmitter to your antenna.

Find a frequency that's 'clean'. Clean means that, while driving around in your car, you get pretty much nothing but static on that station in the area you plan to broadcast in. In the USA, there is no quicker way to get a visit from the FCC (the agency that polices our radio waves, among other things) than to step on other 'licensed' stations' signals. Be a good citizen and don't interfere with your neighbors.

Get a cheap mixer. Behringer makes excellent mixers from US$49-$200 that work beautifully for pirate radio. This mixer, with two XLR (a type of pro connector you can get at any pro music store) cables connects directly to the transmitter (in this case the TX150) and will be where all your audio sources converge. Your DJ's will control this mixer to create their shows so make sure you get one big enough (8-12 'inputs') to handle several audio sources.

Get a good mic. A cheap mic sounds cheap- there are many very good mics available now for under $100. The MXL 990 is a great mic that works well with the Behringer mixers. Shure SM57 mices are a great standard that have been around for decades and are tough and sound great.

Get a CD player, or better yet, a pro level daul CD Player. American DJ makes a good one for $199 that works beautifully, however any CD player will work. Same for any audio source you may have from tape to computer. All will go directly into the mixer, along with your mic(s), all controlled by the DJ to create their show.

Get a pre-paid cellular phone. These are untraceable and work well as studio lines. You can also get a nice cellular phone patch cable from Radio Shack for US$20 that allows you to put callers on air.

Get an email address at one of the free services such as Yahoo or Hotmail.

Dealing with the FCC: This is a section onto itself, but surprisingly, you'll find that the FCC is actually a fairly powerless agency if you're determined to stay on the air. They have approx. 400 field agents in the US. These agents are required to police all areas that the FCC are responsible for. This includes cellular, POTS, Cable, and all RF type activity (including things like garage door openers). They're busy. The only time they'll come for you is if someone complains. Usually it's a local radio station, and most often one from Clear Channel (the largest radio station owner in the US) which is known for agressively complaining to the FCC about local pirate stations.

The FCC wants one thing: Compliance. If you turn off your transmitter, they will go away. The first visit will result in a warning. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR NAME. Without a name, you can't be fined. If you get a warning, move the station location- the next visit will most likely result in another warning if it's at a new location. They can fine you (up to US$11,000 per 'violation'..which they don't define, and up to 1 year in prison). In reality, the prison sentance is a farce. They have never successfully prosecuted someone into prison. Every state in US has thrown out attempts at prison sentences. They also have no way to enforce their fines without the help of other agencies. An FCC field agent is an engineer, not a cop. He or she has no ability to enter your studio without a warrant (which they must obtain from a Federal or local judge). They can't arrest you. They can't do much of anything on their own so the first visit to a new location will ALWAYS result in a warning only. They may ask to look at your equipment. DO NOT LET THEM IN. They will claim they have a right to inspect your equipment. THEY DO NOT. Only if you are licensed do you have to let them inspect your equipment (and then only if you want to keep your license).

They aren't bad guys, really, just in a no-win situation. Be polite with them, but DO NOT let them in without a warrant, and DO NOT give them your name.

I'm not certain how relavent to this article this line is:

The movie Pump Up the Volume has as its hero a high-schooler who does pirate radio broadcasts.

It doesn't seem to me that it's important to mention here. That's like mentioning the movie "Hacker" in the hacking article, or "The Craft" in the witchcraft article. MB 14:11, Aug 7, 2003 (UTC)

I'm sorry I know a lot about French pirate radios and not much about other. At least there's something in the article now. I think an Italian wikipedian could add some interresting material. Ericd 22:59, 12 Sep 2003 (UTC)

BBC and Pirate Radio[edit]

"In the 1960's in the UK, the term referred to theft: the unlicensed broadcasters were seen by some to be 'stealing' audience from the state monopoly broadcaster, the BBC. Naturally, not all audiences were happy to be regarded as the BBC's property!"

Does this line sound pretty sketchy to anybody else? TastyCakes 17:37, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Merger with Pirate Radio[edit]

There's a new article at Pirate Radio that seems to want merger with this one.

Also --- is it true that François Mitterrand was arrested for running a pirate radio station? Smerdis of Tlön 15:36, 4 May 2004 (UTC)

Yes it's absolutely true. Mitterrand and the french socialist party (PS) supported the creation of private radio while Giscard d'Estaing was opposed. They stagged a broadcast from the PS office. Obviously they did it on purpose to be arrested. Private radio became legal in 1981 after the election of Mitterrand. Ericd 18:25, 5 May 2004 (UTC)

Is illegal broadcasting really a crime, or is it something else? This article was added to the crime category, but crime is not mentioned in the article. I'd add something myself, but I don't know what to write.Tim Ivorson 08:00, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I suspect this may be something that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the basic question is, is this something you can be arrested for or sent to jail for? There was a radio pirate in Bloomington, Indiana that did go to jail briefly about ten years ago. Smerdis of Tlön 13:36, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Intra-article comment on offshore radio moved here[edit]

"a full article on the history of offshore pirate radio would be useful." Moved by A-giau 05:15, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Anonymous contributor text[edit]

"The story of British pirate radio began in France almost at the birth of broadcasting in the United Kingdom. In 1924, both UK electrial companies and USA subsidiary electrical companies trading in Britain, were thrust together to form a single broadcasting monopoly. It was originally called the British Broadcasting Company and later renamed the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1927 and it was the only station to be awarded a British Broadcasting Licence. The only means of providing competion to the BBC was by establishing commercial radio stations in countries from which signals could be beamed into the UK.

One of the first of these stations was Radio Normandie in France. It soon became part of a large network of such stations both in France and in other countries.

The most famous of these continental transmitters was Radio Luxembourg in the adjoining Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

All of these stations were very popular in Britain and their demise only came about due to invasion of their host countries by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Prior to becoming Prime Minister, Winston Churchill used one of the stations in France after being prevented from speaking over the BBC to the electorate of the UK. By 1938 a poll showed that 80% of British listeners were tuned to these stations on Sundays when John Reith, General Manager of the BBC, favored heavy doses of religious programming instead of the light entertainment provided by the "Continental Stations" as their were called by listeners. The British Government and the BBC branded them as "pirates" stealing the British audience.

After WWII only Radio Luxembourg managed to come back on the air with commercial radio for the UK. The British Government did its best to close the station down again by branding it a "pirate" once more. At that time all British listeners had to buy a wireless license to listen to the radio and the conditions of that license made it an offense for British listeners to tune their sets to stations which were not authorized to be heard by the British General Post Office, which at the time regulated all broadcasting in Britain"

I am saving this text by an anonymous contributor that was reverted. I don't think it's vadalism. While not of encyclopedic quality (It's hard to read that Luxemburg was "French"). I think it opens new horizons as it introduce the concept that we call "radios périphèriques" in French (maybe "peripheral radios" ?). This a radio that is broadcasting in a country were it's legal to acountry were it isn't because of monopoly or censorship. Is the difference pure semantics or not ? In France it's obvious that some peripheral radios where coined as "pirate" by the French governement while other where "peripheral". This went as far to the creation of SOFIRAD a state-owned company that buyed most of the stock of "peripheral radios". It's worth to notice that the situation in France parallels the situation the UK, while some small countries hosted peripheral radio just like they played the card of being "tax paradises". Ericd 20:00, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Additions and Modifications to Pirate Radio[edit]

Just a friendly note before I start anew: I have already contributed a lot of new material to the Pirate Radio entry. Unfortunately on one of my earlier additions before I logged on, my intentions seem to have been misinterpreted and this led to a mini-reversion saga. I then posted here and gained advice from Tεxτurε who suggested that before I begin anew that it might be a good idea to give advance notice and this is what I am doing. As a footnote I have first hand hand knowledge of this subject and my works have been previously published, the last one being a book: "Media Moments" by Dr. Eric Gilder of Sibiu University, Romania. I previously worked with Dr. Gilder and others in a project involving the late Don Pierson of Eastland, Texas who was the creator of the most famous British offshore stations. My background is in research, broadcasting and journalism. If anyone has any questions about what I am mainly adding, I will be happy to respond. There are some minor existing corrections that I will also make such as the note that John Peel worked for Radio Caroline, when in fact he worked for Wonderful Radio London. MPLX 03:07, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Footnote to the comments about French Pirate RadIo[edit]

In my notes about modifications to the topic of Pirate Radio, I forgot to add that I was the author of the annonymous posting reproduced above in the section on France. A question was raised by Eric as to why Radio Luxembourg was included in the section on France? The answer is that at the time it was the only logical place for it to be placed with a cross-reference to Radio Normandie in France.

However, I agree with Eric that it should not be there and upon looking at this topic and the way it has been stitched together, it would make more sense to establish an overview followed by a country by country entry, where laws and circumstances have varied. To that end I will disassemble the long list of radio ships and structures that I added and separate them under various countries and add additional notes in adjoing paragraphs. I will not remove content contributed by other writers.

A question has been asked about whether a station licensed by one country can be considered a "pirate" in another country? Radio Luxembourg is a prime example. The answer is that the word "pirate radio" was a political term of convenience since the word "pirate" suggests a venture not sanctioned by any sovereign power. To that same end the words "outlaw" and "freebooter" have also been used. The more friendly terms for sea based radio are "offshore radio" and "free radio". However, the latter term has a totally different meaning in the United States with the advent of pay television and radio. This is another reason why the topic should be broken up into a country by country listing following an overview.

I have other additions that I want to make to this subject concerning aborted but quite famous ventures and at least two more external encyclopedic links. I also intend to link this material to entries (if such an entry does not already exist) to the history of the record industry and music licensing. Both of these subjects I know reasonably well having previously researched them and written about them.

As before, any questions I will do my best to answer. MPLX 03:29, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Expansion of the section on Origins of the term "Pirate Radio"[edit]

I have today expanded the section dealing with the origins of the term "Pirate Radio". This further expansion was a modification of my original expansion to the original text.

Because of the legal and linguistic differences concerning an understanding of the term "Pirate Radio" and in partial answer to questions concerning the grafting of early British broadcasting history under the listing for "France"; I will be adding a further section dealing with the Continent of Europe as a whole. This is where pre-WWII British "Pirate Radio" stations will be listed. (At present no such list exists for that era.)

I will also be breaking up the long and unrelated list of stations and placing them under the various national headings.

In the case of Israel, all of the offshore stations were in fact anchored within Israeli territorial waters and semi-tolerated by the Israeli government. This was in contrast to the British offshore stations which attempted to remain outside of British territorial waters.

Some stations which had an impact on society but never made it on to the air, will also be listed. Two examples are stations intended to broadcast from offshore in support of the uprising in Tiananmen Square, China. There are other examples in other countries.

These additions will appear on a time permitting basis as soon as possible. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. MPLX/MH 23:51, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I made 3 minor corrections to my text which included changing the word "river" to "Rio", closing quotation marks after "Pay TV" and adding to a word. MPLX/MH 00:04, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Major update and expansion of the article[edit]

I sort of stumbled into this project, because that is what it is - a major project (I had no idea of the hours that it would consume!) The problem is that unless the reader has an overview of the entire subject it can be interpreted according to existing local or national knowledge, which will give an entirely false and incorrect impression.

An example of this is found in the opening explanation as to what "pirate radio" is and what it is not. The opener belongs under a US interpretation but not under a universal interpretation.

I posted earlier that it was my intention to reclassify the entries according to geographical areas and that is what I am now about to do.

Having already put hours of research into this reshuffle and add-ons, I will admit that it is not yet complete and therefore I will be constantly adding to it over the next 48 hours.

If you spot typos or something that is obviously amiss please fix them (my eyes are getting crossed!), but if you wonder why there are gaps or where something has gone that you think should be there, just wait 48 hours and then take a critical look. This will give me time to build this page.

I tightened up some paragraphs due to the increasing length of this topic. The only other way I know to deal with the length issue, is to break up the entire section on listings under pages devoted to that geographical areas that are linked to the main topic and leave it to provide an overall view. The listings are intended to be more specific.

With that out of the way I will commence reconstruction with a lot of additional material MPLX/MH 03:07, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Problem of length with solution[edit]

I am in the process of uploading new and revised text that I have already written off line. I am also making minor edits on line as I do so. (Please see history of this page to see what I mean.)

However, I have now run into the warning sign that shows that I am reaching the limit for the page. Therefore what I will do is compile a new list of links by continent or by area that can be posted on other pages.

Because I have already added new text under ASIA with a section for China, it means that the existing linked text on Taiwan will be moved to the new page.

The same applies to Europe when it comes to the existing text for France, although Europe may end up being sub-divided on two pages depending on length.

I am making these notes to let others know what I am doing. By the way, I am not changing anything in the original text that was not written by me in the sections about France or Taiwan, they will be reproduced "as is".

Due to the hour where I am I may have to resume these additional tasks tomorrow (September 30), but just in case anyone is nervous about unfinished work, this project will be completed within 24 hours from the time of this posting. MPLX/MH 04:52, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Pirate radio, as noted, is far from being universally recognized as a crime. Does it truly belong in that category?

Well the problem is that someone started the thread as "Pirate Radio" which is a statement that there is something called "Pirate Radio". So the question is, what is it? Well it does seem to belong to the category of crime, but because crimes vary from country to country, so does the criminal interpretation of this subject. What is a crime in one country may not be a crime in another. I noted different contributions by different writers who all had their own take on the subject.
The people with very fixed ideas about what it means are usually the amateur radio enthusiasts (and I am not knocking them!) The amateur radio people resent the intrusion of unlicensed hobby broadcasters who sometimes create havoc on their bands like hackers on the Internet.
However, the term "Pirate Radio" has now become so ingrained that governments use to describe criminal activity, while at the same time (as in the recent case of BBC Pirate Radio Essex), licensing a station that calls itself a "pirate" to capture the flavor of an illegal activity while being perfectly legal. A few years ago Scott Shannon was associated with a similar format in the USA. So I think that we are stuck with the term.
What is obvious now is that it has to be considered within the context of its application and the best way to do that is on a country by country basis where customs and laws vary considerably. Not only that but I ran into the problem of running out of space! So I don't think that there is much choice but to break the subject up while leaving the original entry as an overview with its own cross-referenced index to the other entries. That is what I intend to embark upon just as soon as I have posted this! MPLX/MH 19:17, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sub-Pages now created[edit]

The reason for this comment is that for some reason this discussion page was linked to one of the intermediate editions of the Pirate Radio page, probably because the last comment was attached to the intermediate page so that the reader could not return to the article that they came from. Therefore since this comment is attached to the latest edition I am hoping that it will self-correct this problem. MPLX/MH 15:52, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sub-Pages now created[edit]

Unfortunately this comment page is linked to an intermediate edition of the feature on Pirate radio because there seems to be two pages of the same name. One is "Pirate Radio" and the other is "Pirate radio". I am hoping that the edition of this updated comment will fix the problem. MPLX/MH 15:58, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I have now reverted the page to reflect the last contribution from another person to this omnibus site. The previous reversion as vandalism was to a page that I had constantly updated by the addition of new material. Radio Caroline is linked from this page on the UK section (see Pirate Radio in Europe and scan down to United Kingdom) and Radio Caroline is also covered on its own page under the article title of Radio Caroline. John Peel merits his own page and the original listing on this page before I updated it was incorrect. Peel did not work for Radio Caroline but for Wonderful Radio London where he hosted the overnight show that became famous. There are many new links both from and returning to this page and they will be lost if a reverts are performed on this omnibus guide. It should be noted that the comment that "the term pirate radio ... was coined by uk" as an excuse to revert is also incorrect. MPLX/MH 00:45, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Micro Radio?[edit]

Anybody interested in starting a new page on microradio or Mbanna Kantako (already a stub) or Human Rights Radio Network? Should I make it a subsection of this article? ParkingStones 18:11, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

What exactly is "Micro Radio"? Is it unlicensed very low power transmissions by hobby broadcasters in the USA? If it is then it should go in on the sub-article that deals with Pirate Radio in North America. If on the other hand it merits its own article then it should be linked to Pirate Radio in North America in the same way that Radio Newyork International is (which has its own article) or Radio Caroline or others on the European sub-articles. So if it is a US topic best to write your comments on the Talk page there and begin by explaining what you mean by the term. This Talk page is not topic specific. MPLX/MH 20:06, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I took a look at Mbanna Kantako, this is a about a very local anarchy movement in one neighborhood with a lot of self-serving promotion attached to it. As for this guy starting anything - I don't think so. Pirate radio has flourished on land at all power levels since the birth of broadcasting itself. Please see my comments on that Talk page under your own, MPLX/MH 20:25, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have modified my further comments because you modified your own while I was replying. I have removed my comment and your own to the Talk page of the article in question - otherwise none of this is going to make any sense at all. MPLX/MH
The term "micro radio" came into use in the 1990's/2000's in North America to describe a type of pirate (or sometimes clandestine) type station. But with the partial legislation of LPFM broadcasting it has come to be applied to some types of legal station as well. To muddy the waters further some REALLY "micro" stations have always been able to claim legality under the FCC "Part 15" regulations (or equivalents in other countries). In short not all pirate stations are "micropower" and not all "microwpower" stations are pirates. (talk) 11:56, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Headings should not be links[edit]

Namely, the headings linking to articles on pirate radio by area. Ben Finn 12:29, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Seton Hall Pirate Radio[edit]

I think it would be a nice idea to add into Trivia (or perhaps Cultural References) that Seton Halls' WSOU radio station refers to itself as "Seton Hall Pirate Radio". (See the image in the article; the Seton Hall mascot is the pirate.) --Ihmhi 20:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


The references provided show that Radio Luxembough was aimed at Britain, and not the British Isles. The primary source of the official Radio Luxembourg website states 1933: March 15th marks the official, on-air launch of Radio Luxembourg. As a European pioneer, the company broadcasts a unique combination of programmes in several languages using the same long wave frequency to Luxembourg, Germany, Great Britain, France and later the Netherlands and Italy. The station rapidly becomes the most popular European commercial radio station.. It is obvious too from the fact that the advertising carried by Radio Luxembourg was produced by London ad agencies targetting the UK. --HighKing (talk) 23:57, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The other reference says different, and you should not be edit warring, you agreed not to in order to get unblocked early. EmpireForever (talk) 23:58, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and another example of WP:SYNTH. The reference does *not* state that the signals were beamed at the British Isles. Also, trying to insinuate that one revert, with a reference and a posting to this Talk page and to the other editors Talk page is an edit-war is probably taking the concept of edit-war too far. On the other hand, blank reverting with no reasoning other than "the other reference says different" would probably be a lot closer to being counted as edit-warring. The block-period is over too. --HighKing (talk) 00:19, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The other reference does not say different, and it does not state that the signals were aimed at the British Isles. The only reference produced "History of International Broadcasting" (limited preview on Google books) says that there were 2 million listeners in the British Isles (and even then it's pretty clear that the term is used to mean UK). You cannot chose to ignore the primary reference here which makes it clear that Radio Luxembourg was targetted at Great Britain. There are *no* references that say that the signals were beamed at the British Isles. And if there were any lingering doubts, further on in the same book, it consistently uses the term Britain and refers to the BBC (not to RTE, the Irish broadcaster). Finally, on page 46 it states "1933 - From May onwards, Radio Luxembourg broadcasts 7 days a week; Mondays to Italy, Tuesdays Belgium, Wednesday the citizens of Luxembourg, Friday and Saturday for France, and Sundays reserved for British listeners (deliberately coinciding with with the BBC Sundays of religious programmes)." This makes it abundantly clear that the transmissions were aimed at the UK. --HighKing (talk) 00:11, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The signals may or may not have been "beamed" in the technical sense at The British Isles/UK/Great Britain/whateveryerhavinyerself (although in later years they used an aerial system with a small degree of directivity) but the bulk of the listenership to their English language programming (They also had services in German, French and other languages) was (for obvious reasons) in Great Britain nevertheless these programmes enjoyed a following from places as far apart as Ireland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, even parts of Western Russia. (talk) 12:05, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Radio free europe[edit]

Would something like radio free Europe count as pirate radio? Obviously, these broadcast weren't legal in the Soviet-backed nations they broadcasted to. (talk) 23:42, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I haven't ever heard of them, I assume that they were legal in the country they brodcasted from. However, if you include them, you would also have to include West German TV and Radio stations (before the re-unifications) as they broadcasted to the east as well. WEst Germany had transmitters along the border and in WEst Berlin, so they could cover almost all of East Germany (with the exception of some valleys in SAxony). Of course it was illegal in the East to receive WEstern TV, but people watched it anyway. -- (talk) 01:31, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Radio Free Europe are not considered to be a pirate station for two reasons. Firstly its is/was (if anything) more of a Clandestine station as its aims were political and Secondly it operated legally from transmitters in West Germany and Portugal (and later from transmitters within the target countries themselves). "Border blaster" stations (e.g. radio Luxembourg) which are licensed in their countries of origin are generally not considered pirates although occasionally they are incorrectly referred to as such. (talk) 11:49, 28 August 2015 (UTC)


Does anyone have a reference for the etymology? I thought that the term had derived from the fact that stations were based offshore, and the term then spread to more generic copyright infringement. (talk) 17:18, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

In popular cutlure: american graffiti[edit]

As far as i remember a character Wolfman Jack in American Graffiti runs a pirate rock-n-roll radiostation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ilya-42 (talkcontribs) 15:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Radio First Termer?[edit]

This is mentioned on four separate occasions in links. Is it really that notable? (talk) 01:46, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Probably could cut it down to 1 link, but the subject is notable [1], and a g-book search turns up many mentions in histories of the Vietnam war. - LuckyLouie (talk) 02:18, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Solidarity Radio Broadcasts in Poland[edit]

This article would benefit from an addition of a section about the Solidarity Radio broadcasts in Poland during the 1980s. At this point, I added only a hyperlink to an external page (in Polish) of the Solidarity Underground Radio Association, a group of people who used to prepare and broadcast those clandestine Radio Solidarność programs. MarcinZmudzki (talk) 02:42, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Pirate Radio Movie[edit]

I recall that one time when I was at the movies, they showed a trailer about a movie that involved a pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship. I don't recall what the movie was called and I would like to watch it. I also feel that it might make sense to mention the movie in this article. -- (talk) 01:33, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

OK, I just found out that the movie is just called "Pirate Radio". -- (talk) 01:36, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
It's also referred to "The boat that rocked" -- (talk) 01:37, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Studio Pirates?[edit]

I removed this section after a poor quality edit because it has no reliable sourcing (and I could find none) for the concept of "Studio Pirates" and just seems to be strung together anecdotal stories. Needs some proof this even exists under that name. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 13:33, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

First Offshore Pirate ?[edit]

The article states: In Europe, Denmark had the first known radio station in the world to broadcast commercial radio from a vessel in international waters without permission from the authorities in the country that it broadcast to (Denmark in this case). The station was named Radio Mercur and began transmission on August 2, 1958. In the Danish newspapers it was soon called a "pirate radio".

What about RXKR (broadcast to California 1933) or the "Daily Mail" broadcasts to the UK in the 1920's ? These preceded the Danish station by several decades ! (talk) 21:21, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Clandestine Radio merits separate article[edit]

The term clandestine radio redirects to the pirate radio article but they are not really the same thing although are sometimes confused. Clandestine stations are established for primarily political reasons either illegally within the target country or (sometimes legally) in a friendly neighboring state (although in the latter instance such stations may still attempt to give the impression that they are located within the target state). Pirate radio stations are generally established either as commercial enterprises (albeit illegal) or by enthusiasts for particular forms of (usual musical) programming who feel such programming is neglected by official stations. Programming on pirate radio tends to be either apolitical (other than perhaps advocating some form of liberalization in broadcast regulation and/or licensing policies) in nature or political motivations are only secondary and incidental. While there are a small number of stations (e.g. the Voice of Peace which fall into a grey area the majority of unauthorized broadcasters can be clearly categorized as either "pirate" or "clandestine". (talk) 11:43, 28 August 2015 (UTC)