[AMRadio] A proposal to help curtail pirate radio broadcasters

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Thu Jul 30 14:15:38 EDT 2015

On Thu, Jul 30, 2015 at 11:08 AM, Donald Chester <k4kyv at charter.net> wrote:

> The "aiding and abetting"
> clause would almost certainly have a chilling effect on broadcast station
> managers and owners being willing to freely give away or sell transmitters,
> limiters, consoles or even loose components to individuals not directly
> connected to ongoing licensed broadcast operation.

I think you could easily change "almost certainly" to "little likelihood"
here as well and be closer to reality. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure
that by definition, for aiding/abetting to take place, criminal intent or
knowledge of same needs to be proven. Grabbed this from one of the legal
sites online:

"Aiding and abetting generally means to somehow assist in the commission of
a crime, or to be an accomplice. It involves a plan to commit a crime or to
commit acts, the probable consequences of which are criminal."

Not that they'd even have to go this far, but a station could easily have
the new owner sign a document saying that they are legally able to own and
operate this equipment, will do so within the bounds of the law, etc etc.
Might not be iron clad in court, but it certainly establishes that the
station was trying to do the right thing and keeps the burden of proof on
the prosecution to show otherwise.

Kind of like the effect the Oklahoma City bombing had on purchasing ammonium
> nitrate fertiliser, and drug addicts have had on the free availability of
> hypodermic syringes, needles and even kids' chemistry sets,  although every
> one of those products has plenty of legitimate uses.

That's quite a leap, Don. Kind of like comparing parking tickets to DUI or
Prescription drugs have many legitimate uses, too - yet are regulated due
to the possible dangers involved along with the less-than-honest dregs of
society. Regulation is nothing new.

Another example, closer to home for most of us, is the infamous 10m
> amplifier ban.

For which I think there is plenty of evidence to show that some
manufacturers were doing anything they could to get their product into the
hands of illegal 11m operators. The Swan/Siltronix radios come to mind. Not
to mention the 'Good buddy Footwarmer' or Davemade type "10 meter" amps
that were clearly anything but. I recall numerous manufactures offered
instructions or kits available to licensed hams to add 10m. I bet some of
those still ended up in the hands of criminals, too.

Station owners have long been more concerned with possible liability issues
associated with letting equipment go. From PCBs to electrocution to having
the transmitter fall off the truck enroute. Much more likely threats. As we
know, many decided years ago it was easier to scrap than sell or give away
and risk a lawsuit. Blame the sue-happy society we live in for that. Yet
some stations still work with us to give the equipment a new home.

I think the biggest threat to the used broadcast transmitter market from
the amateur radio perspective is the ever-decreasing demand. There are many
folks out there now - myself included, either with completely converted
rigs or complete transmitters ready for conversion - who can't get so much
as an offer. Jerry/KC8ZUL has been working to dispose of his collection of
BC iron via ebay as well as directly for a while. A fellow in MA recently
scrapped a 5kw RCA transmitter after first trying to sell, then trying to
give it away. Dave/K2DK recently gave away at least one converted
transmitter, possibly more. Even at the 'free' price he had little

As Tom/K1JJ put it in a discussion not so long ago, something to the effect
of '50 years from now we'll be dead and all this stuff will be at the
bottom of a landfill somewhere. Who's going to care? Use it and enjoy it
while you can'. Probably not too far off the mark, sadly.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4

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