Morale: Music Videos at War


March1, 2007: One of the little publicized icons of the war on terror are the music videos made by the troops. These are basically video material taken by the troops (some of it combat actions), with the music track coming, usually, from a current pop hit. Actually, a lot of the music vids use heavy metal tracks, which have their fans, but are rarely in the top 40, or rap tracks, which often are. Before YouTube came along, these military music videos (MMVs), were passed around the Internet, first among the troops themselves, and eventually leaking out to civilians. But in the last few years, especially because of YouTube, and many other sites that host videos, MMVs have been getting a lot more exposure. There's one problem, however, most MMVs are illegal. The creators of MMVs rarely have permission to use the music. Common sense has largely prevailed among the music publishers, and they have not made a big deal of this. Certainly no one is trying to hunt down and sue the troops who made the videos (and the authors often identify themselves, or at least their unit, in the video.)

Military recruiters are big fans of MMVs, and are urging their superiors to copy the look and feel of MMVs for recruiting commercials. The recruiters would like to see the brass get behind the MMVs, and perhaps even try to get some of them made legal (with the music publishers), and get them more exposure. Meanwhile, the outlaw MMVs are doing just fine, and they are all over the place.




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