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First Video Broadcast From Mt. Everest Peak Outrages Tourist Ministry of Nepal

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the misapplication-of-the-law dept.

Communications 204

hutsell writes "On May 19th, Daniel Hughes spoke to BBC News live from the world's highest peak using his smartphone, making it the first live broadcast from Everest. (The actual video — showing the importance of oxygen along with his panoramic view — on the BBC page, is bookend with talking heads and a front-end advert.) However, since he and his team failed to get a commercial broadcast permit (costing about 2 grand) without the Nepali Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Aviation's knowledge, officials want to impose the penalty of having them banned from obtaining climbing permits for 10 years or from entering the country for 5 years. From the article, a quote from Dipendra Poudel, an official of the Ministry's mountain branch: 'The mountaineering rules say if you want to make a live telecast from the mountain, which is a restricted area, you have to get a permit first and inform us early about what you're going to do.' Those protesting against the decision feel the intent of the law is being misinterpreted; it's failing to keep up with the recent fundamental changes in technology. A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions, doesn't seem to apply in this case. If it doesn't, is it really about disrespect, money, a tourism copyright angle, or all of the above? Then again, should the Nepal government ignore outsiders questioning their motives?"

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204 comments

Expensive call (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839111)

"It costs around $2,000 (£1,324) to get this permit."

Wow, that's an expensive call. Time to stop complaining about Verizon's prices

Re:Expensive call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839345)

Must've been hard to resist the urge towards a first post joke...

Their country, their rules (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#43839119)

While it might seem odd that one can't use their phone to hold a press conference from the top of the world, Nepal is the country which sets the rules.

Don't like the rules, don't go to the country.

It's like in Singapore where if you spit on the sidewalk, you will most likely get a ticket. You can't complain that you do it in your country so why can't you do it there.

Their country, their rules.

Re:Their country, their rules (0, Offtopic)

mfwitten (1906728) | about a year ago | (#43839147)

"Their" country, "their" rules... for various values of "their".

I guess a Bureaucrat has got to extort money somehow! They used to just walk around and say: "Nice place ya got here; I'd sure hate for something bad to happen to it..."

This isn't "extortion" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839175)

The rules were established before the events took place. But you're free to continue with your off-topic libertarian rant if you wish.

Re:This isn't "extortion" (-1, Flamebait)

mfwitten (1906728) | about a year ago | (#43839225)

The rules were established for various values of 'established'; I'm sure the climber would dispute that claim.

Re:This isn't "extortion" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839235)

The rules were established for various values of 'established'

What the hell does this even mean?

Re:This isn't "extortion" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839539)

he's trying to sound smart - for various values of 'smart'

Re:This isn't "extortion" (4, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#43839885)

The rules were written to cover the situation of people setting up something at least roughly like a largeish array of a videotape holding camera, a boom mike, a foldable dish, battery packs and such to transmit commercial video from a remote location. It's the kind of thing where Everest expeditions tended to leave extra clutter and junk behind, and that's part of the justification for the fees. The rules, as read, spell out some specific situations, and are so 'established' - if you take those rules, ignore some parts, and maybe put in some verbal only interpretations that let some minor government official stretch those rules to cover technologies that didn't exist when those rules were written, you get this situation, where a lot of things have not have been legally 'established'.
        The rules are also being used to give the government heads up before any image can be sent, which makes a good backdoor way of knowing when to put persons in place to censor what gets sent out. Yeah, they're probably just trying to make sure it looks good to attract more tourists, not stifle political dissent. Still, why encourage that?

Re:This isn't "extortion" (3, Informative)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#43839955)

That wasn't a libertarian rant. Libertarians were not and are not against the existence of laws and regulations. Libertarians != Anarchists

Re:Their country, their rules (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839341)

I'm hardly going to say that I'm impressed by the odds of the cash actually going somewhere worthwhile(Nepal's scores on corruption are... unenviable... at best); but I do remember hearing some wacky theory to the effect that you can 'efficiently allocate' a 'scarce good' using what economists refer to as 'prices'.

It's pretty cutting edge stuff, I know; but it is theoretically possible that using these 'price' things to limit overcrowding of one of the world's more crowd-pleasing mountains may not actually be identical to violent extortion tactics. Crazy!

Re:Their country, their rules (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43839383)

The problem here is that they were already allowed to go there, so what possible interest besides bullshit rent-seeking is there to prohibit a broadcast?

To me, free speech and free press are human rights, not to be abridged for profit or for the purpose of controlling what is said, the only purposes they could possibly have for this license. Therefore, this license is an example of evil. It is by no means unique in that regard. For that matter, the low odds of the cash going somewhere worthwhile are not at all unique, either. Sounds just like home.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839571)

Well, human rights aren't freely allowed everywhere.

Right or wrong, that's the way it is right now.

Re:Their country, their rules (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43839585)

To me, free speech and free press are human rights, not to be abridged for profit or for the purpose of controlling what is said,

I'm sure the guy could have said anything he wanted while he was up on top of that mountain. The right to say anything is not the right to come into your house and take pictures and broadcast them to the world without your permission, even if you have invited me to dinner. His "human right to free speech and free press" were not abridged by the fee to broadcast from Everest. He was still free to go home and say anything he wanted about anything. He could have turned to the Sherpa standing next to him and said whatever he wanted. He could have taken photographs, written a story or poem or essay.

Many libertarians (I'm not saying this is you, drinky), go off the rails on this issue. It ends up with "speech = money, money = speech" which dead ends at "paying people to vote". It is a sentiment that comes from believing that the people with the most money have your best interest at heart, which comes from missing Daddy.

I don't blame Nepal for being very stingy with their heritage sites. The West believes about every place on earth, about every culture, "Fuck them, I do what I want because I've this big bag of money hanging between my legs" and yet when the people whose home they are in want to charge for the goodies it's all, "FREE SPEECH!! FREE SPEECH!! HUMAN RIGHTS!!". This ends in the "human right of white people to exploit the Third World".

Let's not bullshit. The libertarians who make the most noise (and I'm not saying this is you, drink) don't give one flip about human rights. They're children of privilege who are trying to press their advantage, nothing more.

Re: Their country, their rules (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about a year ago | (#43839603)

Agreed. He didn't go there with a camera crew and "hurt the environment", he got out his cellphone and shot a video. Seems Nepal's laws are just behind on the times like many laws are and someone's looking to cash in.

Re: Their country, their rules (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | about a year ago | (#43840285)

He didn't go there with a camera crew and "hurt the environment", he got out his cellphone and shot a video.

But how can the Nepallese determin that if permission is never asked for before hand. All they know is that climbers need permission to make broadcast films and this guy made a broadcast film without permission.

The idea Nepals' laws are just behind the times and therefore can be ignored is a slippery slope (a slippery slope... on everest... get it... boom boom).

If you are in another country, you respect that countries laws and customs.

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#43839609)

The problem here is that they were already allowed to go there, so what possible interest besides bullshit rent-seeking is there to prohibit a broadcast?

Cleverly applied Striesand Effect, perhaps? By protesting, attention is drawn to the concept of broadcasting from Everest. Now everyone wants to do it. Demand for permits goes sky-high. Profits soar.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43840137)

Every culture has their own bizarre rules. I live in a country where they literally have a tax on having an income. I shit you not! Even stranger, they reduce the tax if you spend some of your income on certain things, such as bank services (or to flip it around, they tax you extra for not doing business with these industries). Having to buy a permit to use a phone is strange and arbitrary, but it's no more so than what happens in every other country, except perhaps a few third-world near-anarchies.

Without our senseless arbitrary rules, civilization would collapse into happiness and wealth. Who wants that?!?

Re:Their country, their rules (5, Insightful)

vettemph (540399) | about a year ago | (#43839179)

I agree with following the rules.
In a solidarity move, I would recommend everyone ban themselves from Mt. Everest for ten years. Don't travel to the country for five years.
Nepal will have to change the rules if they want tourist to return any sooner. Let them choke on their rules.

Some people get mad when rules a broken. Others get mad when rules are made.

good luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839395)

people's desire to climb Everest is much stronger than any solidarity with someone who broke the Nepali law.

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839555)

Suck it up, Everest is a major source of income for a very poor country. IF they charge 2k, 20k or 200k what does it matter. Its their mountain. Just because you don't like their rules doesn't mean they don't have the right to make them and enforce them. You can boycott all you like but they're not doing anything unethical.

Of course I can come over to your house, shit on your porch, and say "in my country I'm allowed to shit where I like". By your reasoning if you protest against my shitting in your porch, nobody should come to the US (or wherever the fuck your ignorant ass lives) ever again.

Choke on your own rules.

Re:Their country, their rules (4, Insightful)

jrumney (197329) | about a year ago | (#43839637)

Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings? Or is it just developing countries where you demand that all privileges be provided free for the Western tourists?

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | about a year ago | (#43839891)

Do you ban yourself from New York because of the $3500 fee they charge for filming in certain public buildings?

Maybe. Just point me to the articles detailing how NYC is hounding people to pony up for making video calls from the top of the empire state building. My indignation is ready to flow!

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839655)

You're american, right...? You just need to shut up. They broke the rules, and are now not getting another visa for 5 years. If the same crap (violating FCC rules, or just farting in anything but the government mandated tone) would happen in the US, you would put them into prison for 5 years.

Re:Their country, their rules (2)

Threni (635302) | about a year ago | (#43839233)

The rules are about live broadcasting. This was a clip on YouTube. That's not live broadcasting. I think some people have a job they don't really understand.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839279)

The rules are about live broadcasting. This was a clip on YouTube. That's not live broadcasting. I think some people have a job they don't really understand.

Both TFS and TFA clearly stated it was a live broadcasting. I think some people have an article they don't really understand.

On May 19th, Daniel Hughes spoke to BBC News live from the world's highest peak using his smartphone, making it the first live broadcast from Everest.

Daniel Hughes reached the top of the world's highest peak on 19 May, and spoke live to BBC News from there using his smartphone.

Re:Their country, their rules (2)

blane.bramble (133160) | about a year ago | (#43839319)

No, surely he made a one-to-one video call, which the BBC then broadcast. He did not broadcast anything.

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839485)

No, surely he made a one-to-one video call, which the BBC then broadcast. He did not broadcast anything.

Are we kindergarten kids here playing word games?

By that logic, even if a camera crew were present with a satellite uplink, he would still be "just a video shoot", which the BBC then broadcast.

How about arguing that, since he didn't cast any seeds (the original meaning of "broadcast"), he never did any broadcast?

How shameless can people get?

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839921)

And by that logic, nobody is every killed by the person who fires a gun, they die from not outrunning a bullet.

Re:Their country, their rules (5, Insightful)

sirlark (1676276) | about a year ago | (#43839477)

Okay, there's a lot at play here. Firstly, there are issues with the terminology. From a tech perspective, Mr. Hughes didn't perform the broadcast, the BBC did - from England. Mr. Hughes made a video call. That's not a broadcast, it's a point-to-point transmission from the perspective of information transfer. Yes, the cellular phone (asuming it was cellular) was broadcasting omnidirectionally, but it was doing that anyway just for voice, which seems to be okay. From the article, it definitely seems like they're complaining about the content of the transmission, rather than the transmission itself.

That said everyone assumes the rules are for environmental reasons, but the article mentions 'a restricted area'. From my travels in the Himalayas in India, I know pretty much the entire provice of Kashmir is a restricted area. No internet data on pre-paid sims for foreigners, or even SMS's. It's crawling with the military. I don't know what the political situation in Nepal is, but is it possible this is a similar concept of 'restricted area'? If so I'm sure the military doesn't want strange broadcasts happening, but if the smartphone used a standard cellular network, and as opposed to a satellite phone, or even video+voice over IP, then I still don't see how it could upset anyone. The article leaves out a fair amount of detail unfortunately.

Re:Their country, their rules (2)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | about a year ago | (#43839757)

its always a point-to-point transmission, even when a proper tv crew with a satellite uplink broadcasts news. They transfer it to some central broadcasting station from where it is overlaid with graphics and all and then broadcasted. In this case the tv crew and their satellite van is just replaced by a smartphone.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839385)

No, it was originally broadcast on the BBC live..

From TFA, line 1.. In case you missed it:
"On May 19th, Daniel Hughes spoke to BBC News live from the world's highest peak using his smartphone, making it the first live broadcast from Everest"

Then it was uploaded to youtube. I think some people live a life they don't really understand.

Re:Their country, their rules (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839271)

It's more of a 'their tourist trap, their rules' sort of thing.

Complaining about the rules of a country(which, even in theoretically democratic and whatnot locations, can get rather unpleasant rather fast and can be a forceful imposition on a fair chunk of the citizenry) is a perfectly valid passtime. And, Nepal is hardly a poster child for high-quality governance services.

Everest, though, is basically a high-altitude theme park. They charge admission(it's called a 'permit'; but it's essentially an 'Admit one to scenic Mount Everest' ticket), and the various concession stands have their own offerings on tap. Gosh, how horrid and shocking. Now they want to deny admission to somebody who didn't pay to have his picture taken at one of the photo kiosks. What a banal little dispute.

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839451)

They charge admission.

Yes they do, and the total cost of that admission is chump change compared to the $2,000 fee being charged here. This isn't about a significant fee being added on after the fact, it's about a privileged elitist getting butthurt.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839503)

Yes. They have bad governance, bad people, tyranny of communist, leeches in the name of tourism and everything bad that makes them different and ethically wrong.

So we MUST avoid paying measly 2000 US dollars while we broadcast it all over the world and reap in the advertisement money. It is NOT about saving money, it is about saving money from thieves.

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839647)

The BBC doesn't use advertising. (Why I very occasionally actually watch it).

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839743)

The BBC doesn't use advertising. (Why I very occasionally actually watch it).

Depends on jurisdiction: in country, they are supported by the license fees on TV and radio reception capable hardware. Outside, they do run ads, or their material is licensed by other broadcasters who have their own ways(sometimes ads, sometimes subscriptions, sometimes both) of paying.

Re:Their country, their rules (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839291)

Their country, their rules.

Not valid here. Mt. Everest is something of worldwide importance. Nepal did not create it nor should they "own" it.

The only reason they can have "rules" is if those are for preservation of the ecosystem, but I don't see any violation in that context here.

Re:Their country, their rules (5, Insightful)

ammorais (1585589) | about a year ago | (#43839375)

Their country, their rules.

Not valid here. Mt. Everest is something of worldwide importance. Nepal did not create it nor should they "own" it.

The only reason they can have "rules" is if those are for preservation of the ecosystem, but I don't see any violation in that context here.

Did you even tough about what you just wrote?
So what you're saying is because the Grand Canyon is of worldwide importance, we should ignore U.S. laws.

Re:Their country, their rules (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839535)

No - the US is clearly an exception. Rules apply to other people. Not us.

Re: Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839649)

Exactly! You should see the permit cost to broadcast from the Grand Canyon! .... oh, wait.....

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839421)

Their country, their rules.

Not valid here. Mt. Everest is something of worldwide importance. Nepal did not create it nor should they "own" it.

The only reason they can have "rules" is if those are for preservation of the ecosystem, but I don't see any violation in that context here.

Is there anything other than human labor and IP law that wouldn't fail that test?

Re:Their country, their rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839619)

Their country, their rules.

Not valid here. Mt. Everest is something of worldwide importance. Nepal did not create it nor should they "own" it.

That's the dumbest fucking argument I've seen on here in quite a while.

Re:Their country, their rules (-1, Troll)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43839897)

Yes. Iraq didn't create their oil reserves themselves... why should THEY own it instead of us?

American, right?

"Their" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839363)

What makes you think the people of Nepal agree with the government of Nepal? We only know what the government of Nepal thinks. We know nothing about what the people of Nepal think.

The people and the government are NOT one and the same (if they were, then logically, the government wouldn't need the power of coercion).

Re:"Their" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839625)

What is this, high school philosophy? How insightful... in a charming, precious, isn't-that-sweetly-naive kinda way.

Re:Their country, their rules (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43839683)

Re::Their country, their rules

Yep. I must agree with you. Especially since the USA seems to want to go to war with other countries and individuals about them breaking our laws in their countries (see copyright, Kim Dotcom, the Dmitri Skylarov case, kidnapping Manuel Noriega for breaking "our laws", and probably a million other things), it seems minimal to allow a country to fucking assert its own laws in its own sovereign territory.

Their country, their rules. Though as to your comment about "You can't complain that you do it in your country so why can't you do it there", there are many many whiny americains who go abroad and then whine whine complain whine about how they can't do what they want to do and what they're used to doing at home.

Often, these idiots and our state department are complaining about the jailing of our USAian countrymen (and women!!!) for breaking the laws of those other countries. How dare those other countries have laws that affect our citizens! Why, we won't even be a party to international treaties if our soldiers would be bound by the International Criminal Court!

Easier to ask for forgiveness (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839135)

People who ignore the rules rule the world, because it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Learn from this, kids: Life is not about following the rules, it's about what you can get away with.

Re:Easier to ask for forgiveness (2)

yincrash (854885) | about a year ago | (#43839159)

Try that in Singapore with pot.

Re:Easier to ask for forgiveness (1)

rvw (755107) | about a year ago | (#43839189)

People who ignore the rules rule the world, because it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Learn from this, kids: Life is not about following the rules, it's about what you can get away with.

Try that in Singapore with pot.

Well with pot, you shouldn't get away with (in Singapore)! You should smoke it!

More importantly: who cares ? (0)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year ago | (#43839141)

I'm all for people spending their money and their lives any way they want... I don't feel a need to be informed about pointless and fairly fake endeavours though.

It's their country.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839149)

It's not really up to anyone outside Nepal to tell them how to change their laws, they're an independent nation. This isn't a human rights issue or something similarly abusive to a group of people.

If they need you to get a broadcast permit, however ridiculous it seems, get a broadcast permit.

That being said: Once you've peaked Everest - chances are a 10 year ban on climbing permits or not being able to go back to Nepal without some challenges.. OH NO! Guess the annual Everest peaking will be put off for this guy!

Re:It's their country.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839205)

The funny thing is, they will probably lose more money from the ban than they would have made from getting the license. It's their choice though, however nonsensical.

Re:It's their country.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839305)

I disagree with that. I thought about the consequences, and came to the conclusion that there are no consequences - even though on first thought it seems so petty. If you were planning a trip to a country and they were angry someone didn't get a broadcast permit, would you cancel your trip? Would it even come into your consideration as to whether you went there for a purpose you had already in your mind to go there for? Everest? I would bet that 100% of the people who are planning on going to Everest wouldn't care about this situation or the pettiness involved, and will continue their trips as planned. Maybe even broadcast more just for kicks - after-all, it seems the only loss is not being able to climb again (very few people do something like Everest twice :D) or go back to Nepal. Nepal is a beautiful country, but unless there is a business reason to go there, it's usually a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Conclusion: no real consequences that I can see.

Re:It's their country.. (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#43840169)

If I started getting the idea that there were some odd, unpublicised laws which seemed to have 'draconian interpretations' or relatively excessive consequences in Nepal, or anywhere else, I might avoid that nation on the principle that they may have many more, that some of them might have much worse consequences than being told to get off a mountain and stay off, and the chance of a more serious problem appears to be high. For more on this, just look up "Disneyland with the Death Penalty", and whether that fine article has had any effect on anybody's tourism.
          Within the US, there are millions of people who go to Louisiana once, just for a Mardi Gras. A lot of them plan to do it only once in their lives. I've known people to go out of their way to advise against it, because of the 'speed traps' in surrounding parishes, and stories of people getting $500 tickets for going two miles over the speed limit. I suspect that many of those stories are apocryphal, but I most certainly would not bet that 100% of the people who consider going to see Bourbon street on Fat Tuesday don't care about them. I think you were making a pretty good point about whether the consequences mattered in the case of this particular rule, but you got hyperbolic with your 100%, and I suspect you've weakened your own argument.

just claim to have been in China (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839167)

They weren't in Nepal, they were on the other side of the mountain (and hence the other side of the border), in China.
Sure, they entered China without permission, and so might get into trouble there...

Alternatively, they could just say, "fuck you Nepalise stupid Maoist governments" and fund a revolution to bring about equality and freedom. Oh wait.

Re:just claim to have been in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839373)

They were in Tibet, not China.

after reading your comment, siding with Nepal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839519)

there is so much wrong in your comment

Re:after reading your comment, siding with Nepal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839801)

Oh? And what's that then?
The border runs along the summet. if they step over the summet, they are in China and not bound by the Nepali rules. Nothing wrong there at all (unless you're some kind of moron who thinks that borders are great and wonderful and must always be respected or something).

Or maybe you actually think that the former Maoist rebels (now in government) are actually wonderful people. Well, I've got a bridge to sell you... (They may have been, or even maybe, better than the previous government, but they aren't wonderful.)

It's a commercial broadcast (0)

Bruce66423 (1678196) | about a year ago | (#43839177)

Let them pay up - rather than punish them. But clearly Nepal has every right to impose this tax; it's not like they're Americans who expect to get to vote on taxes ;)

Re:It's a commercial broadcast (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | about a year ago | (#43839405)

Yep, especially since it's quite possibly an honest misunderstanding over the letter vs. the spirit of the law. The guy in question was using a *smartphone*, not any kind of serious broadcast quality camera rig, or even a consumer level camcorder for that matter, so it's entirely possible that the BBC genuinely believed that wasn't covered by the permit requirement. From personal experience I can state that the regulations concerning commercial vs. non-commercial photography are typically a poorly conceived mess with entirely arbitrary rules that are badly outdated by the rapidly advancing pace of camera technology - "mistakes" like this are quite common.

If the Nepali's noses are seriously out of joint then perhaps a small donation to the Sherpas that risk life and limb to bring down all those discarded air bottles and other crap turning Everest into the world's highest landfill would make amends.

Outrageous! (0)

scotts13 (1371443) | about a year ago | (#43839201)

The BBC should boycott Nepal and stay out for, say, 10 years - that'll teach 'em!

I can see coming to the US, doing something without official permission, then saying our rules "fail to keep up with the recent changes in technology." That'll fly...

Fuck the rhetoric (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839231)

A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions, doesn't seem to apply in this case. If it doesn't, is it really about disrespect, money, a tourism copyright angle, or all of the above? Then again, should the Nepal government ignore outsiders questioning their motives?

Fuck you, hutsell, for making rhetoric trying to blame Nepal for BBC's disrespect for other country's law. So what if it is about money? Non-western country can't make money from broadcasting rights?

From the story:

Mr Hamilton said he had been operating in Nepal for the past 20 years without infringing local laws and sensibilities.

"If we realised this filming was going to be an issue, we would have tried to head it off at the beginning.

"As far as we see it, the rules are a little bit grey about shooting short video clips and putting them on websites."

And fuck you, too, Mr Hamilton. If you operate in a country in 20 years and still don't know their laws regarding the single most place there, you are incompetent and negligent, period.

The rules are only "a little bit grey" because you broke it and is making excuses.

Try shooting "short video clips" from English Premier League without a license and put it on BBC News live broadcast, then see how "a little bit grey" broadcasting rights is in your own fucking country when they sue your ass off, instead of just banning you from coming again for 10 years.

Re:Fuck the rhetoric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839253)

And fuck you, too, Mr Hamilton. If you operate in a country in 20 years and still don't know their laws regarding the single most important place there, you are incompetent and negligent, period.

The same AC as above. Missed a word up there.

Re:Fuck the rhetoric (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839299)

Wow dude. You sure care about "rules" a lot. Are you a cop?

THey should know better (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43839273)

The BBC should know better and pay up it's not the first time they've done broadcasts from the summit (OK it's the first live broadcast) they must have had to get permits previously so why didn't they bother this time? The Nepalese Government should stick to their guns on this one. Their country their rules.

Tight arse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839309)

Presumably one has to have a certain degree of affluence to go climbing up Everest; stop being so tight and pay the money.....

What they said, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839317)

I believe that unless the BBC was broadcasting from the Mt., existing international treaties would consider the initial act to be a telephone call. Their country, their rules, their treaty obligations.

Re:What they said, but... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839473)

I believe that unless the BBC was broadcasting from the Mt., existing international treaties would consider the initial act to be a telephone call. Their country, their rules, their treaty obligations.

I wouldn't necessarily bet on it. Had they done a voice call, sure; but(much to the chagrin of team telco) most services more sophisticated than MMS are build by 3rd parties who don't loath their customers, over IP, and if they happen to run on smartphones it's because the phones in question have internet connections just like real computers... It isn't impossible, the ITU probably regurgitated something about 'video phones' back when one was on show at The House of The Future in 1964 or whatever; but most activity on smartphones that doesn't have to terminate to a POTS number or be sure to get that SMS through to somebody's 90's candybar has run screaming away from the parts of the system traditionally covered as telephone services.

Re:What they said, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839675)

Could you please link to the existing international treaties and specific the exact page and line number where
it is specified clearly that a person has the right to make a video phone call from where ever he or she
wants in the world? Does it only pertain to the rights to do so on top of mountains?

I know lots of places in the US where you are forbidden from doing so.
and a lot more places where cops will gladly go after you if you do so, even though it is legal.

Not surprised (1)

msh104 (620136) | about a year ago | (#43839349)

As someone who actually went to Nepal i can tell you that you will need permits for almost everything you do as a tourist.
I guess i can't really blame them. They aren't the richest country and tourism is thier main source of income.

Permitting (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#43839359)

A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions ... is it really about disrespect, money, a ... copyright angle, or all of the above?

The answer is yes, and it applies to virtually every government "permitting" process you can name that doesn't deal specifically with industrial development. It's already reached ludicrous proportions and it's only going to get worse. When they demand a permit (that you may or may not get) just to move a pile of dirt from one side of your residential yard to another, you know it's about more than some bogus "ecological repercussions" - that was just the foot in the door.

Cell towers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839435)

Could someone explain how you get cell reception on top of Mt. Everest? I'm interested in the technical details: where's the nearest cell tower, etc.

Re:Cell towers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839755)

According to the NY Times A Nepalese company installed several 3G towers at the Mt Everest back in 2010. I bet the charges are obscene though.

Double standards? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839527)

Most of the arguments so far are like "we can break any law we want because we are special." How about trying to respect the laws of the country you are in?

The folks could have asked for permission and if they really wanted to play nice, even pay up for the permit as a goodwill gesture.

mo3 0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839529)

go findm s0mething AND SHE RAN Raadt's stubborn

Nepal can charge what it likes (4, Insightful)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | about a year ago | (#43839567)

Nepal has never made a secret of the fact that it doesn't want hordes of Westerners climbing over its mountains. However rather than ban them they've decided to charge them through the nose and use the money to alleviate the environmental damage, provide some employment, and educate some kids. Nepal is relatively corruption-free (compared to India) and most of the $$$ does actually do some good. If you don't like it, don't go to Nepal.

Re:Nepal can charge what it likes (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839677)

Nepal is generally ranked as more corrupt than India; but it's still their theme park, and one that is arguably overcrowded even at the present price...(and you can always go up the other side, which is substantially cheaper, albeit rather more challenging)

Just pay the money; it's peanuts... (4, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#43839583)

From this article, (well worth the read, BTW)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22680192 [bbc.co.uk]

"Westerners can pay anything from $10,000 (£6,600) to $100,000 (£66,000) for permits to climb the mountain and guides to accompany them..."

So, $2k extra seems modest. I'm sure this argument could be quickly solved by an apology and payment of the $2k retrospectively.

Reminds me one time I was skippering a ship for some friends in the Caribbean; the mooring fees seemed pretty high to me, (just to tie up to a small buoy for the night; no other amenities).
When I commented on this to the official, he said "you've got a yacht, you can afford it".
I looked out of the window of his grubby shack at our (rented) 42' boat. Yeah, he was right.

He should have bribed the Minister first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839631)

That's just the way things are done in Nepal....

Wireless provider (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839701)

I want to know how this guy was able to get a signal on the top of Everest and make a video call, while I drop calls all the time in my own home.

Re:Wireless provider (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43839839)

I want to know how this guy was able to get a signal on the top of Everest and make a video call, while I drop calls all the time in my own home.

I'm told that the line of sight is pretty good up there. And if Iridium's charges piss you off, you can just stand on your tip-toes and punch one of their satellites to relieve the frustration...

Yes, pay a fine and move on. (2)

strangeattraction (1058568) | about a year ago | (#43839771)

The Everest climb is one of the country's primary ways to raise revenue. Give them their money, the country has few was to raise it otherwise.

Re:Yes, pay a fine and move on. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43840213)

i'd go the other way, organize a boycott of climbers for a couple years. let the turds in the Nepal government know who is the bitch.

And he is complaining about a day hike... (1)

slugstone (307678) | about a year ago | (#43839781)

And he is complaining about a day hike that just happen to go to the top of the world? He knew where he was going and what he was going to do. This is not a day hike. My understanding is it cost big money and lots of training and planning to just make the attempt. Just make a big donation to the government and I am sure he can play in the backyard again.

It's really hard getting five bars on Sprint. (2)

Picass0 (147474) | about a year ago | (#43839875)

I always wondered if I needed to climb Everest to get a decent connection. Now I know the answer.

I am going to give them the benefit of a doubt... (1)

gravis777 (123605) | about a year ago | (#43839909)

and say that they most likely did not know the rules. That is such an outdated rule, that it is likely they did not even think twice - especially if they were using a smartphone. The government is most likely acting like this because its the BBC.

That being said, as many other have pointed out, their country, their rules.

You could always take the northern route from Tibet, but I have a feeling that the Chinese government would be harder on them than Nepal.

Skipped class that day, eh? (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43839947)

"he and his team failed to get a commercial broadcast permit (costing about 2 grand)"

  "A permit that was meant to deal with ecological repercussions, doesn't seem to apply in this case."

Of course it applies in this case. Track the flow of hard western cash in the hands of state officials in a dictatorship.

useful idiot : n A person in the free west buying into the sappy cover stories justifying the gaining and maintaining of power of dictators. origin Jos. Stalin

What concerns the widdle minds of people changes over the decades, but the real behaviors do not.

If you don't impose some laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43839981)

If you don't impose some laws, people tend to break all of them. I am not usually with Nepal's law, but there are some ecological laws one must follow. E.g There was once a plan for a musical concert on the base camp of Mount Everest. They had to cancel it for ecological reasons, because that would endanger the mountain itself. Even though Mount Everest is on Nepal, we have some responsibility to preserve it for the rest of the world. If people start breaking small laws, and protest each one, they will start ignoring even the ones that is related to the wild lives in Himalayas. Every year those mountains are filled with oxygen tanks, and dirt people take there. Even though you might never intend to travel to the Mountain, it is yours too.

What bad could broadcasting a video could cause?
None. But there are chain reactions to some actions. Fuck you, because I paid for the permit, does not mean E.g. You can go to Mount Everest and starting breaking rocks.

Its a bureaucratic knickertwist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43840041)

"We weren't told in advance!!!"
"And they didn't give us any MONEY!!!!!"

*pout*

So, who's the defendant in this? Is it the climber who used his own smartphone to do an interview with the BBC? Or is it the BBC?

Of course, the sane thing, given the reason for the BBC doing the interview in the first place (Hughes doing the climb to raise money for Comic Relief [wikipedia.org]), would have been for the Nepali Ministry of Tourism to make a statement regretting that the video interview took place without their prior knowledge, remind everyone that permits should be sought and either bill Hughes or the BBC for the $2000. Whining on about bans would only make sense if the expedition had taken a BBC camera crew up there and neglected to pay for a permit.

The reason for the Ministrys hissy fit is probably down to departmental empire building. Whoever initiated it probably didn't consider that in effect they would be dipping into a charitable activity, which says a lot about their attitude to the rest of the world, making them appear like selfish and insensitive scrooges, rather than a desire to ensure that everyone played by their rules.

The rules are here to protect the site, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43840055)

Maybe I don't see evil everywhere it is, but I think in that case the rules are here to protect the site.

Imagine, for the sake of pushing things too far, that a group of people decide to do all sorts of sexual things on top of the Everest or Anapurna, and boradcast this to the world. It would damage the reputation of the site, and Nepal as a whole. Don't you think Nepal has a right to control what, where and when things are broadcast on their land ?

Just saying.

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