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Dutch Gov't Wants to Shutdown Pirate Radio Before It Can be Legalized

By dsolomonoff in Media
Sun Feb 29, 2004 at 06:45:17 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

On May 23, The Dutch government auctioned off radio frequencies to the highest bidders as part of their new Zerobase Radio Frequency Policy. As a result only the biggest, most commercially and mainstream oriented stations are able to exploit Dutch radio frequencies for the eight year term of the licenses. The auction was preceded by "Project Etherflits" in March -- a crackdown on pirate radio stations which are technically illegal but were previously tolerated. Studio equipment was confiscated and large fines imposed on the operators. Most stations have now been forced off the air.

The ZeroBase Policy acknowledges only two kinds of radio: public and commercial. Any radio formats that don't fit within either of these categories have in effect become criminal organizations and can never be granted a legal broadcasting permit. And even the most successful pirate stations don't have the financial or legal resources required to apply for a legal permit if they were allowed to do so under the current policy.


Now the mayor of Amsterdam has granted permission to use police and riot-control forces to get rid of the country's last remaining Free Radio stations. Radio 100 Radio Patapoe and Radio de Vrije Keyser are all based in Amsterdam. On Monday February 9th the Telecom authorities tried to raid Radio Patapoe. Their attempt failed because they were unable to locate the transmitting equipment but they promised to return.

Some pirate FM broadcasters in the Netherlands have been known to use netcasting as a remote link to a transmitter at a different location. While I don't know that any of the Amsterdam stations use this method it raises interesting legal complications. The people in the studio aren't violating any laws because they're netcasting. If someone is rebroadcasting their internet feed, they could conceivably claim ignorance of that operation.

The justification for the crackdown has been the prevention of interference with licensed broadcasters. Ironically the Dutch government was so anxious for space to be found for additional commercial stations - meaning extra revenue - that interference between licensed radio stations has become a serious problem in many areas of the country. Due to poor planning on the part of the government access to existing transmitters for powerful commercial stations has been allocated very poorly. And there is a shortage of suitable sites in the Netherlands where broadcast transmitters can be installed without falling foul of planning and environmental regulations.

But since radio pirates transmit at unused frequencies and without interference (owing to their limited range) they do not interfere with commercial broadcasters -- except to compete for listeners -- as Telecom officials admit in the case of Radio Patapoe.

Until 1964 there were no legal commercial radio or television stations in the Netherlands and the government programming was extremely limited. Free Radio culture in the Netherlands has played an important role in filling that gap, as well as providing a base of operations for stations that have broadcasted to England and the rest of Europe. From the sixties (when they were the first to play the new underground rock and offer countercultural news) through the eighties and nineties when they gave extensive airplay to techno, electronic and world musics, they remain innovative, popular and highly valued as an important cultural and political resource.

There has already been a huge outcry, including pressure from The Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA), the party led by Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, who have introduced a a motion urging that space be found on the airwaves for Dutch pirate radio stations. It appears that a majority of members of the Dutch lower house agree with him. Several other political parties have expressed their support for the CDA position. Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst has reluctantly agreed to investigate easily accessible ways to give permits to local free frequencies.

Yet the phenomenon itself, with its importance to a healthy democracy, is about to disappear. It will be hard to get back once it's gone.

Radio Patapoe is requesting letters in support of their continued existence which can be used to make the case for legalization of pirate radio. Letters can be sent to patapoe@freeteam.nl

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Dutch Gov't Wants to Shutdown Pirate Radio Before It Can be Legalized | 38 comments (34 topical, 4 editorial, 3 hidden)
A quick question (2.88 / 9) (#2)
by Kasreyn on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 01:06:56 PM EST

What is it about the radio stations you mentioned that prevented them from qualifying as "public"?

I'm not so sure the "public or commercial" distinction is as narrow and unenlightened as you're making it out to be. Give me some reason to agree with that viewpoint.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Does public mean government controlled? (2.75 / 4) (#3)
by cronian on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 02:53:57 PM EST



We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Why not public? (none / 1) (#4)
by dsolomonoff on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 03:50:04 PM EST

I've added some clarification -- the "criminal" backround of the operators and onerous financial and legal requirements prevent this under the current policy. I can find out more specifics from the station operators if you feel this is crucial before posting it on the site.

[ Parent ]
useful (none / 1) (#7)
by cronian on Fri Feb 27, 2004 at 11:00:47 PM EST

It would be good to know. Also, if you are going to ask you should find out who is getting good allocations. Are they at the top, bottom, or middle of the dial? How much power are the various stations allowed to brodcast at? Do pirate stations run commericals? Can public stations run commercials? How are public stations funded? Who owns the major commercial stations? How are they tied to the leading politicians in the Netherlands? Have the pirate stations caused major scandals for the Dutch government? What music do the pirate stations play? Are the commercial stations paid to play certain music? Do the pirate stations pay to music industry to play music? Is the music industry upset about this?

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Public radio (none / 2) (#17)
by Cameleon on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 04:11:32 AM EST

Public radio stations are basically government sponsored. There are five public radio stations in the Netherlands: one with mostly news, one with popular music for people around their forties, one for young people, one with classical music, and one with ... art, I guess. There are broadcasting organisations that get airtime on these channels. These organisations traditionally represent different religious and political orientations, and they get an amount of broadcasting time depending on the amount of members they have. They also get air time on television, on one of the three public channels.

It is possible to become a public broadcasting organisation. In fact, a new one was added a while ago. You just have to get the required amount of members (about 50.000 to get started, I guess), and I think there's also a requirement that you have to add something unique, that the already existing ones don't have.

[ Parent ]

I don't blame them (1.61 / 13) (#9)
by psychologist on Sat Feb 28, 2004 at 07:39:52 AM EST

They legalised maryj, and all the druggies moved in there. They legalise this radio station, and all the pirates might move in!

as a public service... (none / 0) (#21)
by alizard on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 05:28:15 AM EST

Please let us know what your favorite vices are which are currently illegal in Holland.

I think the Dutch people have the not only the right, but the civic duty to keep you from trying to move in.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

Frequency Auctions (2.20 / 5) (#14)
by adimovk5 on Sat Feb 28, 2004 at 11:29:19 PM EST

I've been wondering for quite some time now why the US government doesn't auction the airwaves. If each frequency was auctioned for ten years at a time, and the spectrum was split so that bands were auctioned each year, a new income source would be created. Ten years would give the winners time to recoup costs.

It would be a much more efficient way to allocate the spectrum.

However, to ensure innovation, I would leave "wild" unregulated areas between the auctioned bands.

Do you have a "Socialist" government? (2.40 / 5) (#15)
by vyruss on Sun Feb 29, 2004 at 02:03:07 PM EST

Because that's what we're supposed to have here (blech) in Greece and they even pulled LEGITIMATE radio stations off the air, leaving only government propaganda-spewing abominations and stations that play the most commercial of commercial manufactured music, including the latest Turkish/Arabic hits stolen by Greek "songwriters"...

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

It "sounds" bad... (none / 3) (#16)
by Skywise on Sun Feb 29, 2004 at 07:45:32 PM EST

But is it really THAT bad?

Certainly you're not going to have the..."raw broadcasting"... of content there was before.  But commercialization of the airwaves is a valid government function that CAN (not always) be a fair trade off.

It's the evolutionary nature of a nation's growth.  Japan has similar problems in that whole towns are being decimated block by block in a neverending cycle so they can be rebuilt more efficiently to contain more people.

Isn't this a point where you have to just make a heavy sigh and say "Well, it was fun while it lasted?"

you miss the problem (none / 2) (#23)
by alizard on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 05:41:31 AM EST

See "you missed something obvious" in the above thread.

It appears that Dutch elected officials and Dutch citizens fully support "pirate" broadcasting. The problem is rogue bureaucracy.

Presumably they're going to call them something other than "pirates" once the rogue bureaucrats are forced to issue them "low-power" licenses.

As for your analogy to Japan, you just aren't making any sense. Cultural and legal evolution are irrelevant to the Dutch situation, what the bureacrats are trying to do could be consdered devolutionary.

A better analogy is to the fight against low-power community FM licenses in the USA...
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

Do you understand what you're saying? (none / 0) (#28)
by Skywise on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 09:39:10 AM EST

Now, I don't know Dutch law... but it seems to me that if both the "Dutch elected officials AND Dutch citizens" fully support this...

Then how are "bureaucrats" writing the law?


[ Parent ]

off couse not (none / 0) (#30)
by retep32 on Tue Mar 02, 2004 at 05:23:15 AM EST

off couse not, when the new zero-base plan wat implemeted, pirate station could also try to get a freqency, only one did and unfortunately they did (radio 100 in amsterdam) not get the freqency, for some local freqencies even no-one applied.

[ Parent ]
if they really support it... (none / 0) (#39)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 08, 2004 at 12:49:45 AM EST

...they can do something about it. The legislators, after all, have the power to write laws that legalize whatever they'd like. So if they say "pirate radio stations are now legal", then, well, they are!

[ Parent ]
Definition of "pirate sender"? (none / 3) (#18)
by cpghost on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 04:15:42 AM EST

Excuse me, but aren't pirate senders illegal, according to definition? They wouldn't be pirate if they used legal parts of the RF spectrum in the first place (or were tolerated by the authorities). So where's the problem?

Pirate senders existed since the first day of radio. Part of their charme is that they are illegal, and thus, per extension, providing interesting content.


cpghost at Cordula's Web
You missed something obvious (none / 3) (#22)
by alizard on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 05:34:57 AM EST

Who owns the nation's airwaves in a democracy?

here has already been a huge outcry, including pressure from The Dutch Christian Democrats (CDA), the party led by Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, who have introduced a a motion urging that space be found on the airwaves for Dutch pirate radio stations. It appears that a majority of members of the Dutch lower house agree with him. Several other political parties have expressed their support for the CDA position. Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Laurens-Jan Brinkhorst has reluctantly agreed to investigate easily accessible ways to give permits to local free frequencies.

It appears that the majority of Dutch national elected officials and presumably, their consituents believe that these so-called pirates deserve access to the public airwaves and a bunch of bureaucrats on the government payroll have decided otherwise.

If you believe government bureaucrats are more important than the people who pay them, you should have no problem with this.

However, it is the job of elected officials to make sure that rogue bureaucrats get pruned from the public payroll. If you have a problem with that, your problem is with democracy itself, not pirates.
"The horse is dead. Fuck it or walk away, but stop beating it." Juan Rico
[ Parent ]

And why are pirate stations good? (none / 3) (#24)
by leonc on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 05:48:00 AM EST

Why is it that most pirate radio stations are very good (if you like the general music style) and most commercial ones are too bland? I suspect it's because the people running them all care so much about their music that they're prepared to break the law to play it, while the people running commercial stations care so much about their paychecks they'll take whatever bribes from major labels are avalilable.

So how on earth can you usefully legalise a pirate radio station? If you legalise it you destroy the magic that makes the station good. (Listen to Kiss FM in London for a good example). It'd be good if these people didn't have to break the law, but we need to come up with a way of restricting some airwaves to people who REALLY care about the music they're playing.

[ Parent ]

The Netherlands is not a Democracy (1.14 / 7) (#19)
by ckm on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 04:19:50 AM EST

Get over it.  Your country is not a Democracy.

All of the mayors are appointed by the Queen (including the mayor of Amsterdam who refused to even live there for a time and who was the Queen's, er, boyfriend...).

All the regional assemblies are appointed by the Queen.  They, in turn, appoint the first chamber of the parliment (roughly the equivelant of the US Senate or the House of Lords...).

The Queen chooses and appoints the government, and because no party is able to win even a plural majority, she gets to decide who will be in the coalition.

The Queen is the largest shareholder in almost all the largest companies in the country.

Voters choose parties, not people.  They have little control in who gets to serve.

More than four people standing together in a public place is cause for arrest.

Critizing the Queen in public is punishable by jail time.

A Democracy?  Please.  Even the f'd up political system in the US is more of a Democracy than the Netherlands.

And, yes, I lived there for a long time.  In fact, I even have relatives there (and they would agree with me).

So all this is not surprising.  If you want to fix it, you have to first fix your broken political system.   The one that allows things like the  Betuwelijn (see this for how the Dutch government is responding to protest and resistance to the destruction of one of the few natural forests in the country) [sorry, could not find a good explanation of what this is in English, but it's basically a significant portion of the country opposed to a rail line from Rotterdam to Germany, for the Germans, which will destroy some of the last remaining natural forests in the country. And there aren't many].

Face it, your country is owned by a small, wealthy elite in a way that not many places outside of the Third World are.  And you are suprised that they decided to close down a few 'tolerated' radio staions?  I'm surprised they didn't do it a long time ago....

Oh, and that famous Dutch 'tolerance'?  It's to give people like you an outlet for their frustration.  The country itself is deeply conservative (as in, "refusing to be vacinnated for religous reasons" or "I'm only going to watch Catholic TV, read Caltholic magazines and listen to Catholic radio" conservative).  

What's that Dutch saying again "If a nail sticks up, you must hammer it down"?  Well, those radio stations were the nails sticking up, they just got hammered down.

Chris.

Netherlands (none / 0) (#25)
by sangdrax on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 07:17:31 AM EST

All of the mayors are appointed by the Queen

This changed recently. They are now elected.

Voters choose parties, not people. They have little control in who gets to serve.

They vote for set of political ideals and ideas, not the charismatic faces of the party; which is what voting should be about, imho. We have more than two parties, so the choice is a bit more fine grained than in a two-party system. The party in its turn can put its most capable people in parlaiment to represent their idea(l)s.

Still, in practice, such charismatic faces draw more and more of the votes for their parties these days so in essence its the same theatrical bull. See the Pim Fortuyn media craze two years ago. Still, it allows a political party to be raised and enter parlaiment within a year. Try /that/ in the 'democratic' US, which in practice has only one party more than China does :)

The Queen chooses and appoints the government, and because no party is able to win even a plural majority, she gets to decide who will be in the coalition.

The influence of the queen is mostly symbolic. Seeing her execute her power (other than confirm the *parties planned* laws, coalitions, etc) is a rare site indeed in these modern times. Even though several parties are for stripping her of these powers as well, this is a hard topic due to the immense popularity of the queen.

Critizing the Queen in public is punishable by jail time.

Can you tell me the last time such a thing was actually punished in practice, besides for doing stupid stuff like throwing tomatoes at members of the royal family at an official parade? Lots of countries have laws which aren't enforced or used in practice. Look for 'weird laws' with google :)

That said, ofcourse, we have our fair share of political bullshit and malgoverning. And our 'tolerence' is only in business and towards our own. Our political system doesn't have some of the issues the US and UK have, but creates others.

[ Parent ]
Pim Fortuyn (none / 0) (#27)
by Cameleon on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 09:12:56 AM EST

Still, in practice, such charismatic faces draw more and more of the votes for their parties these days so in essence its the same theatrical bull. See the Pim Fortuyn media craze two years ago.
I don't think his charisma was the only reason for his popularity. He did raise issues that other politicans didn't dare to, and spoke to a portion of the population that was fed up with the current politicians and felt they weren't being listened to.

I do agree with you that his succes shows one of the positive points of the dutch political system: small or new parties can have an impact.

[ Parent ]

Yes it is (none / 1) (#29)
by wfzelle on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 10:35:59 AM EST

You don't understand how things work. The Queen's position is highly symbolic. The government is responsible for her actions and the Queen is very much curtailed in her actions. Basically the only thing she can do is refuse to sign a law or royal decision, but this has almost never been a problem. In such a case, the government could always change the constitution and remove the Queen from power. There is no serious threat to our democracy.

All of the mayors are appointed by the Queen

She does not get to decide who gets appointed. The only option she has is not to sign. Besides, our majors are supposed to be independent, so it makes a lot of sense not to elect them.

(including the mayor of Amsterdam who [...] was the Queen's, er, boyfriend...).

Really? Strange, considering the considerable hubbub recently about her father's illegitimate children and her grandmother's lovers. A rumor like this would be first class gossip, even if the only truth to it is an intimate handshake. Since I've never heard anything about it, I assume you're simply making this up (or do you have proof?).

All the regional assemblies are appointed by the Queen. They, in turn, appoint the first chamber of the parliment (roughly the equivelant of the US Senate or the House of Lords...).

No, there are provincial elections to decide who will represent us in the regional assemblies.

The Queen chooses and appoints the government, and because no party is able to win even a plural majority, she gets to decide who will be in the coalition.

Currently, the Queen selects the person(s) who try to get the parties to form a majority coalition. However, the parties themselves decide who make up the coalition. The Queen cannot force them. Furthermore, it is not required that the Queen perform this duty. The parties can choose someone themselves, but currently, they prefer to outsource this to the Queen.

The Queen is the largest shareholder in almost all the largest companies in the country.

She's rich, but not that rich. The largest shareholders in just about any country are investment and pension funds. Compared to the fortunes they manage, the Queen is poverty striken.

Voters choose parties, not people. They have little control in who gets to serve.

That's because our systems are different. In the US, you can choose from only two parties (Neocon & whatever the Democrats represent). This means that many people cannot really choose a party that represents their views (well, you can vote Green or Libertarian, but your vote will effectively be wasted). A small consolidation is that there is a bit more choice in choosing the specific person who represents you.

In The Netherlands, we choose a party with certain views. The party consists of different people who have their own expertise. For instance, one person is responsible for international affairs, another handles justice and a third is an expert on healthcare. The larger a party is, the better they can function, the more chance they have to get in a coalition and have their wishes granted when they do. The voter is supposed to judge the party as a whole: what do they promise and how do they make good on that?

Each party has to make a list of the people they want in the House of Representatives before the elections, so you know the people you vote for. If a party gets 10 seats, the first ten people of their list are elected. There is also the possibility of a lower ranked individual to get in the House if he gets enough votes for himself.

More than four people standing together in a public place is cause for arrest.

Unless you are demonstrating, in an meeting or in a religious gathering. Furthermore, there needs to be a judge who wants to punish you. I don't know the jurisprudence, but I doubt you would get into trouble for just talking with a few friends.

Critizing the Queen in public is punishable by jail time.

No, insulting the Queen is a punishable offence. There is a difference between criticizing and insulting. I do disagree with the law, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be.

So all this is not surprising. If you want to fix it, you have to first fix your broken political system. The one that allows things like the Betuwelijn (see this for how the Dutch government is responding to protest and resistance to the destruction of one of the few natural forests in the country).

I've not heard any major concerns about police abuse over that railroad line. It was a multi-billion dollar black hole which did run through our rural areas (which we want to preserve) and it will never make a profit. However, The Netherlands doesn't have any natural forests. Every forest we have has been planted by humans, no original pre-civilization forest still exist.

Oh, and that famous Dutch 'tolerance'? It's to give people like you an outlet for their frustration. The country itself is deeply conservative (as in, "refusing to be vacinnated for religous reasons" or "I'm only going to watch Catholic TV, read Caltholic magazines and listen to Catholic radio" conservative).

OMG, The Netherlands is extremely secularized. The non-vaccination crowd is centered in Staphorst (a region with only 15,000 people), which hopefully underscores how 'widespread' this is. The so-called verzuiling has mostly disappeared in the 70's. Verzuiling or pillarization means that every religion/movement has it's own church, schools, broadcasting company, unions. Today, you can still see the different backgrounds, but they are mostly flavor. Very few Dutch people choose them for religious reasons. For instance, the Christian schools do very well, but according to surveys, that's because people think they are good. As a result, the religious factor has dimished. When I was in high school (10 years ago), we stopped praying in the morning (which was done only occasionally when I was there). I'd be hard pressed to identify a significant difference with a public school after that.

As for being conservative, you do realize that we legalized gay marriage, euthanasia and selling soft-drugs in coffeeshops, don't you?

Well, those radio stations were the nails sticking up, they just got hammered down.

No, it's because they are against the law. Unregulated transmitters can cause serious trouble, so I understand why the laws exist and I understand why they don't want to allow stations that aren't (yet) causing trouble. If you leave it be, they may a have claim later. If you knowingly let an illegal situation exist, that may be become legal. For instance, if a neighbour walks over your terrain for some 20 years, you cannot build a fence there afterwards, because a right of passing has been created. Therefor, people who open their private lands to the public, will always bar passage one day every x years (and make pictures/have witnesses). Besides, the law should be changed if it's wrong, not ignored, because that only creates uncertainty and inequality.

BTW, You're free to feel resentful for whatever bad experience you may have had, but please try to stick to the facts. Claiming that I'm any less free than someone in a country with the PATRIOT ACT is a difficult case to make, IMNSHO.

[ Parent ]

On a different subject... (none / 1) (#31)
by mstefan on Wed Mar 03, 2004 at 03:07:58 AM EST

As for being conservative, you do realize that we legalized gay marriage...

I was watching some news discussing the issue (I'm American) and one of the folks commenting on gay marriage mentioned that you had it and are experiencing some kind of social meltdown as a result. I'm curious, from your perspective, has allowing gay marriage had any impact at all socially, positive or negative?



[ Parent ]
Re: Gay marriage (none / 1) (#32)
by wfzelle on Wed Mar 03, 2004 at 05:33:05 AM EST

I was watching some news discussing the issue (I'm American) and one of the folks commenting on gay marriage mentioned that you had it and are experiencing some kind of social meltdown as a result. I'm curious, from your perspective, has allowing gay marriage had any impact at all socially, positive or negative?

No, not at all. I don't know what kind of social meltdown you are referring to, but I haven't seen anything that would qualify IMO*. Of course, orthodox religious groups oppose gay marriage, but they also oppose abortion and euthenasia. Fortunately, they stick to public debates and politics. We've never had religious extremists attack people over here.

The most controversial issue was the adoption of children by same-sex couples, but the couple will have to prove to a judge that they will be good parents. Sometimes I wonder if this should be required before heterosexual people can have children ;)

The biggest problem we have is with clerks who don't want to marry gay couples. In some cases, people who didn't want to do this were excused, but some counties insist. It's a difficult issue because on the one hand it's their job and we don't want to open the door to other refusals for religious reasons. On the other hand, it's not pretty to force people to go directly against their conscience. At the moment, this is still unregulated where some counties hire people who refuse and others don't.

* In The Netherlands, the most important issue of the past few years was the multiculturalism versus assimilation debate. There was a rather drastic shift away from lassez-faire, towards a harsher treatment of immigrants (partly justified, since every immigrant should learn Dutch and imported, more 'subservient' brides are not good thing). You may have heard of Pim Fortuijn who ended the taboos on this subject. Anyway, from a social perspective, this topic completely dwarves the issue of gay marriages.

[ Parent ]

Thanks (none / 1) (#34)
by mstefan on Wed Mar 03, 2004 at 12:24:51 PM EST

Personally, although I'm a fiscal conservative, I'm socially progressive (which in the US puts me pretty much in no-mans land as far as the major political parties are concerned); I support the idea of gay marriage simply on civil rights grounds. I feel that churches/religious institutions have the right to marry or not marry whomever they wish; but, when the state gets involved certifying marriages and offering legal benefits for it, it must treat each of its adult citizens the same, regardless of gender, race or sexual preference. I think the whole "defense of marriage" nonsense is a huge step backwards in civil rights; people here need to think about how they'd feel if a law or constitutional admendment was passed prohibiting interracial marriage. If they find that abhorent, then they should find the restrictions being placed on homosexuals as equally abhorrent, IMO.

People can dress it up in "family values" or whatever as much as they want, but when you boil it down, it's discrimination borne out of fear and ignorance. I'm glad to see that's it's worked out well for you folks; I hope that someday soon, my own people will grow a clue.



[ Parent ]
Re: On a different subject... (none / 1) (#33)
by servies on Wed Mar 03, 2004 at 05:43:13 AM EST

I'm Dutch too and no, from my perspective gay marriage had no impact at all socially. Being gay is pretty much accepted around here. The gay marriage was pretty much a technical issue here (taxes, insurance etc). For the gay people themself it also was a symbolic item. For the person who started this thread: You must have been living under a rock when you were here as you obviously don't know anything about the Netherlands and it's constitution...

[ Parent ]
Re: Queen's boyfriend and others (none / 0) (#35)
by ckm on Wed Mar 03, 2004 at 09:37:28 PM EST

(including the mayor of Amsterdam who [...] was the Queen's, er, boyfriend...).

Really? Strange, considering the considerable hubbub recently about her father's illegitimate children and her grandmother's lovers. A rumor like this would be first class gossip, even if the only truth to it is an intimate handshake. Since I've never heard anything about it, I assume you're simply making this up (or do you have proof?)

Yes, for all of the above.  You see, my wife used to be an investigative journalist for Vrij Nederland, so I know far too much about how rotten the political system is in the Netherlands and how incestous the country is.

Bet you didn't know about her husbands boyfriend either?  He was living in NYC...

[ Parent ]

Re: Queen's boyfriend and others (none / 1) (#36)
by wfzelle on Thu Mar 04, 2004 at 11:38:16 AM EST

Bet you didn't know about her husbands boyfriend either? He was living in NYC...

I still don't, because you don't provide any credible proof. AFAIK Prins Claus never lived in NYC and he is certainly not the type to cheat on his wife. I've also never heard a rumor about him being gay, which was an accusation easily flung at his son (when he didn't marry soon enough). So you're not even remotely credible. People always invent news about the royal family because they are far too boring for the gossip press, but you cannot even point me to some shady web-site to support your arguments and a bit of searching on my part didn't turn up anything either.

You see, my wife used to be an investigative journalist for Vrij Nederland, so I know far too much about how rotten the political system is in the Netherlands and how incestous the country is.

My question: are you embittered about The Netherlands or the royal family or is there another reason why you abandon all rational thought on these subjects? I ask this question because I can't understand why you think I would be convinced by some random guy, whose 'facts' are easily disproven and who then tries to convince me with an all-knowing wife.

[ Parent ]

Auction was a bad idea (none / 1) (#20)
by Cameleon on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 04:23:08 AM EST

The action of the radio frequencies was a bad idea, if you ask me. There used to be little variation in the commercial radio stations. You had one or two that played popular classical music, one or two that played old pop music, and a gazillion that played current pop music. The auction promised more variation, they said. But what we have right now are even more pop music stations, and all the old ones have changed frequencies.

There are a lot of alterative, innovative radio stations in the Netherlands, but they all broadcast on cable only. They don't have the money to buy one of the frequency packages. I'm not sure what allowing pirate radio would do for them; not much, probably, since they're still commercial.

The alternative and innovative radio could and should be made by the public radio stations. But they just try to compete with the commercial stations, because their only measure for succes is the amount of listeners. So radio 3, meant as a station for young people, sounds just like its commercial counterparts, while it could do a lot to promote Dutch bands, have programs dedicated to specific genres of music, or take a chance on interesting music instead of playing only surefire hits.

Useful word and phase to support your cause: (none / 1) (#26)
by jago25 on Mon Mar 01, 2004 at 08:33:07 AM EST

"Community"
"Social economy"

To hell with government bans on radio (none / 0) (#37)
by simul on Thu Mar 04, 2004 at 06:17:37 PM EST

Buy a small, local transmitter and just broadcast radio to your neighborhood.

Don't interfere with popular stations. Spread info by word of mouth. You can power it on solar panels and put it in a van if you're paranoid.

You can get a great 1-5 watt transmitter kit. Hook it up to your PC, and play your favorite shoutcast feed, for under $100 (mono is cheaper).

If thousands of people do it, then there will be radio everywhere.... and the gov't will have a very hard tracking down little/innocuous stations.....

What they will do is stage a highly publicised arrest of some obnoxious station run by a teenager who pissed of some grandmothers by overriding the easy-listening station with heavy metal... But that will be designed to scare everyone into stopping. If you run a clean station, and you keep it to under a mile (less in a city)... it's most likely that nobody will notice or care.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks

Though luck. (none / 0) (#38)
by emc2 on Sun Mar 07, 2004 at 01:35:38 AM EST

The spectrum on which radio can be broadcasted is limited. There is a finite amount of stations you can broadcast, no matter how many clever multiplexing tricks you try.

Thus if you want to organize radio in any meaningful way, you have to restrict who can broadcast.

Given a scare resource, it is bound to raise in price, thus you either allow monoploies by the state to cotnrol access to the resource (pubic radio) or give permissions, thath given the scarcity of the resource, are bound to be expensive.

The pirate stations have two avenues, become eiher commercial or private. Or gather enough political support to allow for some kind of settlement that allows them to continue to exist.

But they should understand someting: the rsdio spectrum is not theirs and eventually it is up to the local goverment to decide how to better make use of it.

The mony collected by means of licenses and taxes from commercial stations can be put to good use elsewhere, pirate radio is not necessarily that important if the resources obtained help in othe parts of society.

---
The Devil is in the details.
I am extremely meticulous.

Dutch Gov't Wants to Shutdown Pirate Radio Before It Can be Legalized | 38 comments (34 topical, 4 editorial, 3 hidden)
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