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Old 07-09-2017, 12:52 PM
   
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Angry FCC Destroys Legitimate KY Broadcaster With "Pirate" Label

Folks, many of you will undoubtedly recall the big story in all the broadcast rags -- e.g., FCC Fines LPTV Station $144,000 For Operating Without A License. Here's a link to one of them. FCC Proposes Maximum Fine Against Unlicensed LPTV | Broadcasting & Cable The story was even a bigger item in Kentucky, where articles labeling W10BM as a outright "pirate" caused locals to pull advertising from the station. Deprived of funding, the station had no choice but to cease operations.

What's not being mentioned here by the mainstream media reports is that many of the FCC's allegations that the licensee never attempted to renew his license are completely false. Yes, the paper applications apparently got lost in the mail. But when the FCC gave the license a 30 day notice to file, the licensee used the CDBS filing system to not only renew his three LPTV licenses, but also to pay the $1125 fee the system said he had to pay for the renewal.

Apparently the FCC's CDBS filing system has a glitch. On the licensee's side (when logged in) it shows the renewals. An attempt to refile the renewals produces a pop up advising the forms are already filed. Most importantly here, the licensee's bank statement shows the FCC charged his credit card $1125. For reasons unknown, the FCC can't seem to locate these filings on their side of the CDBS system. They're also denying having received payment.

Undoubtedly, the licensee has filed an appeal. You can read the appeal, and see all the exhibits showing the renewal applications and proof of payment of the renewal, at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5f...ew?usp=sharing

Even if the appeal is granted, it doesn't undo the unmeasurable damage the FCC has done to this licensee, his reputation, and his livelihood.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:34 PM
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Yes, the paper applications apparently got lost in the mail.
Was it sent certified mail? If not, than it wasn't sent as far as the FCC is concerned. Something as important a license renewal done on paper would be sent by certified mail, or FedEx/UPS if it is being handled by a competent individual.

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Originally Posted by JoeFM View Post
Yes, the paper applications apparently got lost in the mail. But when the FCC gave the license a 30 day notice to file, the licensee used the CDBS filing system to not only renew his three LPTV licenses, but also to pay the $1125 fee the system said he had to pay for the renewal.
Then having bank records of the transaction will come out in court, and the licensee will have an opportunity to show the ALJ the proof.

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Apparently the FCC's CDBS filing system has a glitch. On the licensee's side (when logged in) it shows the renewals. An attempt to refile the renewals produces a pop up advising the forms are already filed. Most importantly here, the licensee's bank statement shows the FCC charged his credit card $1125. For reasons unknown, the FCC can't seem to locate these filings on their side of the CDBS system. They're also denying having received payment.

Undoubtedly, the licensee has filed an appeal. You can read the appeal, and see all the exhibits showing the renewal applications and proof of payment of the renewal, at this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5f...ew?usp=sharing

Even if the appeal is granted, it doesn't undo the unmeasurable damage the FCC has done to this licensee, his reputation, and his livelihood.

I get it that a slew of errors on both parties (the "check is in the mail and got lost" situation followed by the CDBS filing system not reflecting payments, etc) but at the end of the day, continuing to operate without a valid license was a gamble by the operator/owner and you see how well that is working out for them.

They will have their day in court.
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Old 07-10-2017, 12:45 PM
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Given the evidence he's submitted, it would appear that the FCC really has a lot of "egg on their face." In fact, he has an excellent case for a lawsuit for damages.
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Old 07-10-2017, 2:17 PM
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Given the evidence he's submitted, it would appear that the FCC really has a lot of "egg on their face." In fact, he has an excellent case for a lawsuit for damages.
There is no doubt the FCC has some "splanin" to do, but at the end of the day, it would be no different than driving around with an expired/suspended license that was the result of an error on part of the DMV. A license is just that: a license.

If one were to get stopped and your local state driver info database shows no valid license, the onus would be on the driver to prove it, which would most likely happen after one would be ticketed/arrested, vehicle impounded, etc.

Being that this has gone on for YEARS, both parties did not act prudently to deal with it before it got to this level.
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Old 07-10-2017, 3:12 PM
   
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There is no doubt the FCC has some "splanin" to do, but at the end of the day, it would be no different than driving around with an expired/suspended license that was the result of an error on part of the DMV. A license is just that: a license.

If one were to get stopped and your local state driver info database shows no valid license, the onus would be on the driver to prove it, which would most likely happen after one would be ticketed/arrested, vehicle impounded, etc.

Being that this has gone on for YEARS, both parties did not act prudently to deal with it before it got to this level.
MTS2000des, one thing you may or may not know is that the FCC is one of the most inept government agencies in existence. It is common for one to file an application for a broadcast license and then wait a decade to find out if its granted or denied.

When it comes to FCC license renewals, sometimes a radio station's license is technically expired for years before the FCC gets around to renewing it. Example: KHTZ Ganado, Texas. Expired 2013. Application for renewal filed 3/29/13. Still pending. See Application Search Details That is why a provision has been codified into Federal law. 47 CFR 1.62 Operation Pending Action On Renewal. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/1.62 It specifically authorizes licensee's who file a license renewal to continue to operate until a decision has been made on that renewal.

W10BM's online FCC account shows the renewals are submitted and pending a decision. The FCC's system charged him the fees to file the renewals. Until a final decision is made on the renewals, it is legal for W10BM to operate. Id. 47 CFR 1.62
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Old 07-10-2017, 3:46 PM
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Not sure about others, but whenever I do anything to do with money and licences that make me money, I ALWAYS double check things have gone through - one of my licences vanished from the UK Governments website map. I called them up and asked and they confirmed I was licenced and it is a glitch. It seems very doubtful the FCC would take any action without email or postal communication, so the licencee probably just didn't notice the mail and couldn't be bothered, assuming they'd realise the mistake?
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Old 07-10-2017, 4:55 PM
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Oh boy. Link to the FCC'S side of the story..
http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/...C-17-54A1.html
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Old 07-10-2017, 7:53 PM
   
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The FCC relies heavily on the fact that no attempt to renew the applications was made, and that the licensee ignored letters the FCC claims were sent to the station's official address of record -- e.g., an old PO Box. Again, we have the problem of the glitches in the CDBS. It was clearly updated with the correct mailing address at 135 Lee Cemetery Road, yet the FCC continued to mail all their notices to a dead PO Box which were returned to sender.

It must be noted that by 2004, when this all happened, the FCC was no longer accepting paper filings. Licensee's were required to use the FCC's CDBS filing system.

In any event, I started this discussion in the Kentucky forum simply to let folks know what's really going on. The FCC with all their press releases and published decisions is not telling the whole story. They are simply trying to squash W10BM out of existence so the channel can be given to another broadcaster in the upcoming TV band repack.
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Old 07-10-2017, 8:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFM View Post
In any event, I started this discussion in the Kentucky forum simply to let folks know what's really going on. The FCC with all their press releases and published decisions is not telling the whole story. They are simply trying to squash W10BM out of existence so the channel can be given to another broadcaster in the upcoming TV band repack.
Why does the FCC care who has the channel?
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:10 PM
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Why does the FCC care who has the channel?
Perhaps because as part of the repack process stations can sell their existing channel to the highest bidder and either stop broadcasting or lease time on another station's DTV virtual channel (stations could also sell their old channel with rights to move to a less desired band). These bids could be quite high and it's not just the small stations doing the selling. For example, WNBC-TV New York sold their license for $214 Million. They indicate that they will move to a virtual channel on their Univision station's signal. The big winner in the auction was WWTO-TV in Chicago that went for $304 Million. FCC Auction's Biggest TV Station Payout: $304 Million | Broadcasting & Cable
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:40 PM
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MTS2000des, one thing you may or may not know is that the FCC is one of the most inept government agencies in existence. It is common for one to file an application for a broadcast license and then wait a decade to find out if its granted or denied.
I'm well aware of the FCC, been a licensee in the amateur service since I was 9 years old. I am a 911 systems manager for a large metropolitan agency. You don't have to scold me on how the FCC can be inept. I'm well aware.

I'm also well aware that when it comes to licensing, it's pretty cut and dry. If a license is expired, it's expired and if one continues to operate, they are at risk of winding up on the radar of the enforcement bureau.

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W10BM's online FCC account shows the renewals are submitted and pending a decision. The FCC's system charged him the fees to file the renewals. Until a final decision is made on the renewals, it is legal for W10BM to operate. Id. 47 CFR 1.62
That's a fair argument you should make in front of an administrative law judge, not on a radio hobbyist forum. There is little anyone can do here to change the circumstances.

Here's a great case: the amateur licensee N4YTR, convicted child predator Edward Wayne Ferguson, who currently is serving a long sentence for many counts of aggravated child molestation (his GDC ID is 0001128732, Georgia Department of Corrections). This scumbag used ham radio to contact some of his victims, who were Boy scouts where he served as an explorer advisor.

Somehow behind bars in a Georgia prison, he filed an application to renew his license back in January of 2010. Several concerned amateurs contacted the FCC, and thus, the FCC set aside the license for offline redlight review, pending enforcement bureau action, back in 2010.

Yet the license still shows to be valid, but is it? If N4YTR were to operate, he would be operating on a license that the FCC's own records show to be expired and set aside for enforcement action that hasn't happened in over 7 years.

I never said the FCC was perfect, far from it. But in the USA, they are the ones who make the rules. We have no choice but to play their game or risk the penalty.
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