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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. G 98-10
June 17, 1998


The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday issued a permanent injunction against unlicensed broadcaster Stephen Dunifer ("Free Radio Berkeley"). The 18-page decision reaffirms the FCC's authority to require a license before any person can broadcast on the public airwaves.

As a result of an investigation, the San Francisco Field Office of the Compliance and Information Bureau had found that Mr. Dunifer was broadcasting without a license. Despite warnings from the field office, Mr. Dunifer continued to broadcast in violation of Section 301 of the Act. The FCC then pursued court action to enjoin Mr. Dunifer from broadcasting.

The ordering clause of the June 16, 1998, opinion of U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken reads as follows:

"The United States motion for summary judgment must be GRANTED. Accordingly, Mr. Dunifer, and all persons in active concert or participation with him, are hereby ENJOINED:

(a) From making radio transmissions within the United States unless and until they first obtain a license from the FCC:
(b) From doing any act, whether direct or indirect, to cause unlicensed radio transmissions or to enable such radio transmissions to occur."

The Court's opinion also upheld the constitutionality of the FCC's broadcast licensing procedures. It said, "The Court finds that the regulatory scheme here withstands constitutional scrutiny because it specifies procedures which the FCC must follow and it provides for judicial review of any improper FCC ruling. Thus, Mr. Dunifer's claims that the regulations are unconstitutional in every conceivable application and that they are overbroad must fail."

- FCC -

Press Contact: David Fiske (202) 418-0513