In today’s era, one can turn on the radio and tune into almost any kind of music that they desire to listen to. There certainly is a great deal of freedom of choice in music. The same could not be said back in the 1960’s when the UK basically had to listen to whatever music the BBC radio services decided to broadcast. For the younger age group, this was not good enough, as they felt they weren’t getting enough of the type of music that appealed to them. This opened the doors for pirate radio stations.
A pirate radio station is a radio station that is broadcasting illegally without having a licence to do so. It doesn’t follow any of the rules and regulations that are put in place for public broadcasting. Nor do they pay any fees for broadcasting rights, and they work under the freedom of expression concept which gives them flexibility in broadcasting whatever they choose to.
Naturally, it would be relatively easy for authorities to determine where the broadcasts were originating from, so they could be shut down. However, the first pirate radio stations would broadcast from ships that were in international waters so the broadcasters did not fall under any one jurisdiction.
The first pirate radio station was such a success that it wasn’t long before more daring pirate DJs started to broadcast off the land, and the pirate radio stations began to grow in numbers. Eventually, there was a crackdown by law enforcement officials, and this mode of broadcasting began to dwindle. That doesn’t mean that they still don’t exist today though, as there are still several to be found not only in the UK, but other parts of the world as well.
These radio stations have also found ways to support themselves through advertising just as their legal counterparts have.