[116th Congress Public Law 109]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 134 STAT. 3]]

Public Law 116-109
116th Congress

                                 An Act

    To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to provide for enhanced 
  penalties for pirate radio, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Jan. 24, 
                          2020 -  [H.R. 583]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Preventing 
Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act. 47 USC 609 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse 
Through Enforcement Act'' or the ``PIRATE Act''.

    Title V of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 501 et seq.) is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:

    ``(a) Increased General Penalty.--Any person who willfully and 
knowingly does or causes or suffers to be done any pirate radio 
broadcasting shall be subject to a fine of not more than $2,000,000.
    ``(b) Violation of This Act, Rules, or Regulations.--Any person who 
willfully and knowingly violates this Act or any rule, regulation, 
restriction, or condition made or imposed by the Commission under 
authority of this Act, or any rule, regulation, restriction, or 
condition made or imposed by any international radio or wire 
communications treaty or convention, or regulations annexed thereto, to 
which the United States is party, relating to pirate radio broadcasting 
shall, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, be subject to 
a fine of not more than $100,000 for each day during which such offense 
occurs, in accordance with the limit described in subsection (a).
    ``(c) Annual Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of the PIRATE Act, and annually thereafter, the Commission 
shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate a report summarizing the implementation of 
this section and associated enforcement activities for the previous 
fiscal year, which may include the efforts by the Commission to enlist 
the cooperation of Federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel 
(including United States attorneys and the United States Marshals 
Service) for service of process, collection of fines or forfeitures, 
seizures of equipment, and enforcement of orders.
    ``(d) <<NOTE: Deadlines.>>  Enforcement Sweeps.--

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            ``(1) Annual sweeps.--Not less than once each year, the 
        Commission shall assign appropriate enforcement personnel to 
        focus specific and sustained attention on the elimination of 
        pirate radio broadcasting within the top 5 radio markets 
        identified as prevalent for such broadcasts. Such effort shall 
        include identifying, locating, and taking enforcement actions 
        designed to terminate such operations.
            ``(2) Additional monitoring.--Within 6 months after 
        conducting the enforcement sweeps required by paragraph (1), the 
        Commission shall conduct monitoring sweeps to ascertain whether 
        the pirate radio broadcasting identified by enforcement sweeps 
        is continuing to broadcast and whether additional pirate radio 
        broadcasting is occurring.
            ``(3) No effect on remaining enforcement.--Notwithstanding 
        paragraph (1), the Commission shall not decrease or diminish the 
        regular enforcement efforts targeted to pirate radio broadcast 
        stations for other times of the year.

    ``(e) State and Local Government Authority.--The Commission may not 
preempt any State or local law prohibiting pirate radio broadcasting.
    ``(f) <<NOTE: Notification.>>  Revision of Commission Rules 
Required.--The Commission shall revise its rules to require that, absent 
good cause, in any case alleging a violation of subsection (a) or (b), 
the Commission shall proceed directly to issue a notice of apparent 
liability without first issuing a notice of unlicensed operation.

    ``(g) Pirate Radio Broadcasting Database.--
            ``(1) <<NOTE: Deadline.>>  In general.--Not later than 90 
        days after the date of the enactment of this section, and semi-
        annually thereafter, the Commission shall publish a database in 
        a clear and legible format of all licensed radio stations 
        operating in the AM and FM bands. <<NOTE: Website.>>  The 
        database shall be easily accessible from the Commission home 
        page through a direct link. The database shall include the 
        following information:
                    ``(A) Each licensed station, listed by the assigned 
                frequency, channel number, or Commission call letters.
                    ``(B) All entities that have received a notice of 
                unlicensed operation, notice of apparent liability, or 
                forfeiture order issued by the Commission.
            ``(2) Clear identification.--The Commission shall clearly 
        identify in the database--
                    ``(A) each licensed station as a station licensed by 
                the Commission; and
                    ``(B) each entity described in paragraph (1)(B) as 
                operating without a Commission license or authorization.

    ``(h) Definition of Pirate Radio Broadcasting.--In this section, the 
term `pirate radio broadcasting' means the transmission of 
communications on spectrum frequencies between 535 and 1705 kilohertz, 
inclusive, or 87.7 and 108 megahertz, inclusive, without a license 
issued by the Commission, but does not include unlicensed

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operations in compliance with part 15 of title 47, Code of Federal 

    Approved January 24, 2020.


SENATE REPORTS: No. 116-178 (Comm. on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation) accompanying S. 1228.
                                                        Vol. 165 (2019):
                                    Feb. 25, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 166 (2020):
                                    Jan. 8, considered and passed