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College Says Hype Videos Were Illegal, Against Policy

Andy Berg

A Mississippi community college is acknowledging that pricey hype videos produced for its football team were illegal and in violation of school policy.

The videos, which were showed to the EMCC football team in 2016-18 seasons were viewed by The Dispatch as part of a Mississippi Public Records Act request. According to The Dispatch, the videos show video of practice and game footage cut with clips from movies, television show and rap music videos.

The accompanying music and clips include references to drugs, violence, sex, gangs, as well as copyrighted music that included profanity.

In one instance, a clip taken from a music video shows a woman in lingerie crawling toward the camera and later on a bed. Lyrics demeaning women incorporated in the clips include such things as, "I wish I wouldn't have f----- that b----, she's insane," and "Cut that b---- a thousand times" and "100 dead b----es." 

Internal staff had produced the content in 2016 and 2017 but in 2018, the school commission an outside contractor who was paid more than $3,000 to produce the video.

"This should have been looked at a lot closer," EMCC president Scott Alsobrooks told The Dispatch. "This is certainly not stuff that should have been produced (by EMCC staff or paid contractors) and shown to our students. ... It was inappropriate, and we're still trying to get to the bottom of it." 

The school says it did not profit from the videos but the use of copyrighted material was still of concern.

"We didn't make any profit off of it ... but we didn't have the necessary licenses so we're not supposed to use that stuff," Alsobrooks said. "I hope this instance can serve as a valuable lesson to other schools that when it comes to copyright, it's gets a little deeper than you think." 

The school says it’s cleaned up is act where the videos are concerned. All videos with licensed music are required to be the "clean, radio-edit" version. The college also has begun requiring third-party contractors for videography to sign an agreement to EMCC's acceptable use policy. 

“We're not going to agree on everything,” Alsobrooks said, “ but collectively we have to work for the betterment of our students and the advancement of EMCC's mission, whether we're friends or not.”

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