Unregistered Selfie Sticks are Illegal in South Korea

February 9, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. entail /ɛnˈteɪl/ (v.) – to involve something as a necessary consequence
Example: He was entailed to replace the computer he accidentally broke.

2. exclusive /ɪkˈsklu sɪv, -zɪv/ (adj.) – including or limited to only a certain standard
Example: The store’s free hard drive is exclusive only to customers who buy a laptop.

3. interfere /ˌɪn tərˈfɪər/ (v.) – to disrupt or block something
Example: Her computer’s antivirus program interfered with her Internet connection.

4. formality /fɔrˈmæl ɪ ti/ (n.) – the compliance to do something for the sake of following a long-established custom or routine
Example: Part of the company’s formalities is meeting with the boss on your first day.

5. monopod /ˈmɒn əˌpɒd/ (n.) – a one-legged stand used to support a device
Example: The photographer used a hand-held monopod when taking photos of himself. 


Read the text below.
Selling of unregistered selfie sticks entails a fine or jail time in South Korea.

The regulation, which took effect in December, is exclusive only to selfie sticks equipped with Bluetooth. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), if such devices are not registered, their Bluetooth signal might disrupt the frequencies of other devices. The guidelines require unregistered selfie sticks to be examined by and registered to the Central Radio Management Office.

Retailers that are caught selling unregistered selfie sticks must pay a fine of $27,000 or face a three-year sentence in prison.

Some believe that the regulation is unnecessary. The Bluetooth signal of a selfie stick usually has a weak range, and is not likely to interfere with signals of other devices. Also, overseeing these guidelines may be an impossible task for authorities since selfie sticks are widely used. However, MOST stated that the regulation is only a technical formality. It is also to ensure that people remain mindful of what they sell or buy.

There are currently no cases of violation since the regulation was implemented. In fact, most vendors are unthreatened with the regulation and its severe penalties. Most vendors have already certified that their Bluetooth selfie sticks are legal for distribution.

The selfie stick is a recent invention that has grown in popularity. It is an extendable monopod with a phone slot on one end and a handle on the other. Some selfie sticks have Bluetooth, which can connect with the phone and control the camera. Using Bluetooth, users can take long-range selfies with just a press of a button on the handle. Selfie sticks without Bluetooth can be used by setting a timer on the phone’s camera.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think South Korea’s new regulation will make a difference on how often people sell or buy selfie sticks in the country? Please explain your answer.
·         Would you want your country to have the same regulation as South Korea? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were to invent a device or a method that would improve taking pictures, what would it be and how would it work? Please explain your answer.
·         Why do you think people love to take selfies? Please explain your answer.

February 9, 2015