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Submission + - Mt. Everest's Fisrt Video Broadcast Outrages Nepali Tourist Ministry

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 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.

Joanna Jolly, a former Nepal correspondent for the BBC opines: " In the past, if you were a film crew making a commercial film, this would be clear from the amount of equipment you had with you. ... The question is: Does short video clips and posting them to personal websites (or making video calls on smart phones) also qualifies as commercial broadcasting, and where do you draw the line?"

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?

"Survey says..." -- Richard Dawson, weenie, on "Family Feud"