Selfie-stick sellers face fines in South Korea

Korean's using selfie stick Image copyright AFP
Image caption Selfie sticks have become ubiquitous at attractions around the world

In South Korea, selling a "selfie stick" that lets people photograph themselves could mean a fine of up to £17,300 if the gadget is unregistered.

South Korea's radio management agency has issued guidelines outlawing the sale of unregistered selfie sticks.

The law applies to sticks using Bluetooth to remotely trigger a phone to take a picture.

The agency said unregistered sticks might interfere with other devices using the same radio frequencies.

Selfie sticks into which smartphones can be slotted to take snaps of their owners beyond arm's length have proved hugely popular and the most sophisticated versions use the Bluetooth short-range radio technology to trigger a handset's shutter.

Because they use Bluetooth, the devices are considered to be a "telecommunication device" and must be tested and registered with the South Korean agency that oversees such gadgets, an official at the Central Radio Management Office told the AFP newswire.

"The announcement last Friday was really just to let people know that they need to be careful about what they sell," said the official.

The regulations published by the Office can impose fines or jail terms on those making and selling unregistered sticks.

"We've had a lot of calls from vendors who think they might have been unknowingly selling uncertified products," added the radio management office's spokesman.

So far, the new regulations are not being rigorously enforced and there are no reports of the sellers of selfie sticks at attractions in South Korea being targeted by police.

Even the official at the radio frequency watchdog wondered if the new regulation was going to make a difference to the sale of the sticks - whether or not they are registered.

"It's not going to affect anything in any meaningful way, but it is nonetheless a telecommunication device subject to regulation, and that means we are obligated to crack down on uncertified ones," said the spokesman.

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