In the mass media, Free radio is often called pirate radio. The free radio is rather about free speech and DIY. In the regular media certain music, opinions and news are, be it wittingly or unwittingly, heavily moderated. This is where free radio drops in: it tries to fill such gaps. Free radio stations differ regarding their target audience, the music they play. Some of them are simply hobbyists, others are geeks, others are coordinated by collectives.
In Europe, the free radio movement is currently being silenced to death by bringing down the stations. Government authorities make all kind of claims “that they disturb other (commercial) radio’s”, “that they noise air flights” and all kind of other propaganda. Truth is, that some might do this, but then again they’d go to another free frequency if they’d be noticed with this news.
In the US, the FCC makes similar claims that pirate radio interferes with commercial radio stations (claimed due to their supposedly sloppy engineering and broadcast methods). While this might have once been the case, recieving technology has advanced to the point where the space alotted for each commercial station is much larger than necessary. In recent years there have been proposals for Low Power FM licenses to be granted to community organizations (churches, colleges, pirates alike), but the main push for LPFM was killed by Congress.
Many American “pirates” claim that to prohibit their broadcasting is an infringement of their First Amendment Rights, which importantly states that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; … “. In European countries “pirates” use a similar argument.
TakeDown.NET -> “Free-radio”