Do you know why the RIAA call copying files without their permission 'piracy'?
Back in the 1960s, radio in the UK was completely run by the BBC, the state-licensed monopoly broadcaster. The way round this was to broadcast from outside the UK, after the fashion of Radio Luxembourg.
Radio stations on boats, of which Radio Caroline was the most famous and longest lasting, were called 'pirate radio' because they were operating in international waters, beyond the reach of national laws.
This history of Radio Caroline contains this interesting incident, which may prove inspiring to those currently labelled pirates.
After an earlier incident where Prime Minister Harold Wilson had raged at [Radio Caroline owner] O'Rahilly telling him that he was 'finished', Ronan nursed a healthy hatred of the man. As The Mebo 2 countered its jammed signal a General Election was looming that Labour and Wilson were expected to win easily. O'Rahilly convinced the Swiss that public sympathy for them would be greatly enhanced by renaming the station Radio Caroline and this done he set about blatant on air campaigning against Labour, targeting marginal seats where control could change if only a few hundred voters switched allegiance. Breaking every law in the book concerning politics and the representation of the people, Ronan likened Wilson to Chairman Mao while Caroline battle buses toured marginal wards and thousands of rapidly recruited supporters fly posted millions of posters suggesting that a vote for Labour was akin to voting for a Marxist state. He instigated a rolling phone call campaign where each supporter would recruit by phone, three more supporters and so forth. He arranged for the phone lines into Labour HQ to be jammed by hoax calls.
The government had forgotten or failed to consider that this election was the first in which 18 to 21 year olds could vote and that these people had been impressionable teenagers when Caroline was at the peak of its influence. It was not difficult to motivate them to strike back at the politicians who had so arrogantly ruined their enjoyment.
On the day after the election as the votes were counted, shell shocked Labour politicians found that against all predictions they had lost. For Ronan while the score was not settled, the loss of his station had been partially avenged. Soon after on a London street O'Rahilly was baulked by a careless pedestrian. The two men stared at each other, Ronan recognising Ted Short, a senior Labour politician. Short recognised Ronan and said simply 'It's you. Why did you do it?'. 'Listen baby' replied Ronan using his trademark opening phrase, 'if you hurt Caroline, I hurt you'.
I believe there are a few elections coming up in the US.