(From the August 24 *Legal Times*:)

Talk Isn't Cheap . . . Pirate radio jockey Steven Franco, who broadcasts
from a studio in his family's Discount Mart stores in Oxon Hill, Md., is
considering a First Amendment defense against a potential enforcement action
by the Federal Communications Commission. Franco, the subject of an Aug. 14
profile in The Washington Post, says he received about 80 supportive phone
calls from fans after taking himself off the air last week in response to a
threatened fine from the FCC. One of those calls was from the conservative
D. C.-based Institute for Justice, which offered him legal assistance. "We
believe that the FCC's prohibition on micro-radio in effect violates the
First Amendment," says Institute for Justice attorney Scott Bullock. "It
really puts the micro-broadcaster in a Catch-22. It's illegal to broadcast
without a license, but they won't give licenses to people who broadcast
under 100 watts." After three days of silence, Franco was back on the air
Aug. 21, albeit with what he calls "rinky-dink" new equipment that puts out
a much weaker signal.