APME Warns Members to Review College Conference Credentials

By: Joe Strupp Associated Press Managing Editors, one of three news organizations whose protests of recent media credential restrictions by the Southeastern Conference led to an easing of the rules, is urging members to carefully review the changes before agreeing to them.

The memo, sent Thursday, declares: "the Southeast Conference has significantly revised its sports credential policy that the three groups and many news outlets considered too restrictive. It will now be up to individual members to decide whether the changes are enough to warrant signing the credential."

It adds that, "APME members should be aware that it is possible other leagues and conferences will consider the SEC terms and conditions for their own credentials; organizations are encouraged to read all credential applications carefully."

The restrictions were initially put forth in mid-August as part of the SEC's revised media credential policy. But after complaints from APME and other news organizations, included Associated Press Sports Editors and American Society of News Editors, the restrictions were eased a bit earlier this week.

The SEC dropped or moderated earlier restrictions against: photo galleries, re-use of photographs in books, resale of "bearer-generated images," use of audio and video other than "game action," photo archive use, and live blogging during games.

But the memo stresses there was no change in the restrictions on archiving game highlights of non-simulcast news shows and shooting and posting of "in-game" video.

"The revised policy still asserts SEC and member school claims to
control of certain photo images and requires news organizations to bind third-party recipients of images to SEC control of their use," the memo added. "Issues remain on which the SEC and the media groups do not agree. The SEC is going to ask the national media organizations if they would like to have members on the league's media committee to continue discussions about credential issues."


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