Pirate radio is illegal or unregulated radio transmission. Its etymology can be traced to the unlicensed nature of the transmission, but historically there has been occasional but notable use of sea vessels – fitting the most common perception of a pirate – as broadcasting bases. The term is most commonly used to describe illegal broadcasting for entertainment or political purposes, but is also sometimes used for illegal two-way radio operation. Rules and regulations vary widely from country to country. In countries such as the US and many countries in Europe, many types of radio licenses exist, and often the term pirate radio generally describes the unlicensed broadcast of FM radio, AM radio, or short wave signals over a wide range.
In some cases radio stations are deemed legal where the signal is transmitted, but illegal where the signals are received—especially when the signals cross a national boundary. In other cases, a broadcast may be considered "pirate" due to the nature of its content, its transmission format (especially a failure to transmit a station identification according to regulations), or the transmit power (wattage) of the station, even if the transmission is not technically illegal (such as a web cast or an amateur radio transmission). Pirate radio stations are sometimes called bootleg stations (a term especially associated with two-way radio), clandestine stations (associated with heavily politically motivated operations) or Free Radio stations.online shipping insurance
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