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copying BSA training materials

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  • Larry D. Ohs, Attorney at Law
    To the List: It took me a while to find, but I have an answer to my earlier concern about copying and electronically distributing BSA training materials
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      To the List:

      It took me a while to find, but I have an answer to my earlier concern about copying and electronically distributing BSA training materials without violating copyright laws. The following was posted to the Scouts-L youth discussion list by Mike Walton. I have his specific permission to re-post it on Scouter-T discussion list. Thanks, Mike, for your prompt response to my request.

      Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 23:15:42 -0500
      From: "Settummanque, the blackeagle ((LTC) Mike L. Walton)"
      Subject: Re: MB Books as PDFs

      Hey [name deleted] !!

      Here's what I wrote earlier on that same question, which was:

      >My questions have to do with copyrights and usage permissions. Can I
      >just post the pdfs? If so, why have none of the excellent Scouting
      >sites done so? Suppose I password protect the pdfs, allowing access to
      >my Scouts but not the whole world? I've always been under the
      >impression that BSA expected the sales of MB books to support the
      >printing and distribution costs, but not the cost of developing the
      >material. If this is so, why shouldn't BSA itself post pdfs of the
      >books?

      The BSA stated, through their Editorial Division in March of 1996 that
      while employees, volunteers and units may reproduce and distribute copies
      of BSA copyrighted materials for programming purposes without the need for
      written permission... however, the BSA would not allow copyrighted books,
      forms or manuals to be posted to any Internet website without their written
      permission. In 1998, the BSA gave local Councils permission to reproduce
      certain forms, applications and a selected set of Council operations
      booklets in Adobe's (tm) Portable Document Format (PDF) or Microsoft (tm)
      Word's formats. The BSA took the lead by posting several of the
      commonly-requested applications and forms onto their website. Other
      webmasters took the clue and started offering the same forms and materials
      on their sites as well. The BSA also stated that they would proactively "go
      after those" who posted copyrighted BSA materials without their written
      permission (which is in part why you see those same 45 or so publications,
      give or take one or two, on just about everyone's website).

      (and they have....by sending very threatening letters to the webmasters from
      the BSA's legal team reminding them that the BSA has the final authority in
      which materials are converted for usage and which isn't...)

      The reason why the BSA doesn't allow most of their manuals or booklets, to
      include merit badge pamphlets, to be electronically posted, is one of
      finances. The BSA uses the funds generated from the sales of their
      manuals, booklets, training guides and other items as part of their
      national budget. Editorial products fund everything from the recently
      completed National Scout Jamboree to Philmont's Volunteer Training Center
      to materials supporting this fall's "roundup campaign" in our local
      Councils. The BSA has invested a lot of those funds into high-tech
      printing and publishing and have made the turn by producing loose-leafed
      booklets and manuals which can be inserted into three-ring binders, which
      will cut costs in revising and updating over the coming years.

      The underlying reason, however, is one of portability. While we do live in
      an electronic society, and while an increasing number of Scouts and
      Venturers do have access to electronic resources -- personal computers --
      many more of our Scouts and their parents (and many merit badge
      counselors!) do not. This presents a problem for the BSA which they have
      solved by providing printed copies of each of the merit badge pamphlets for
      retail sales. These copies can be kept, written into, underlined and then
      shared with other Scouts or Venturers as they work toward earning that same
      merit badge. This is why the BSA has not produced a CD-ROM, for instance,
      containing all 119 merit badge pams nor an "electronic version" of the Boy
      Scout Handbook.

      Your question has come up a lot of times, and over at the USSSP, I answer about
      ten or so questions about that every month.

      Hope this helps out!!

      Settummanque!

      (LTC) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
      http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/
      Burnsville, Minnesota


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Signe Rogers
      To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 8:57 AM
      Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: BALOO Syllabus


      Lawyer Larry:

      We have always been told by our Council office that the BSA gives it's OK & blessing upon the copying of it's materials for further scouting use. I think we all could benefit from a definitive legal answer tho if you will share what you find out.

      Signe Rogers

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Larry D. Ohs, Attorney at Law
      To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 8:47 AM
      Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: BALOO Syllabus

      ...The lawyer in me is asking, "Will that violate copyright laws?" I'll have to look into that issue.

      --- In scouter_t@y..., Sheila Brown <sbrown@a...> wrote:
      > Does anyone on the list have the BALOO syllabus in pdf format?

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nicholas Clark
      Larry, What about the training material used at Wood Badge training? Can this material be copied? I understand the reason it cost so much to go to Wood Badge
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        Larry,
        What about the training material used at Wood Badge training? Can this material be copied? I understand the reason it cost so much to go to Wood Badge is because BSA had to pay copyright fees, now there we can't get copies of the training material, charts, etc.
        nick
        "Larry D. Ohs, Attorney at Law" wrote:To the List:

        It took me a while to find, but I have an answer to my earlier concern about copying and electronically distributing BSA training materials without violating copyright laws. The following was posted to the Scouts-L youth discussion list by Mike Walton. I have his specific permission to re-post it on Scouter-T discussion list. Thanks, Mike, for your prompt response to my request.

        Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 23:15:42 -0500
        From: "Settummanque, the blackeagle ((LTC) Mike L. Walton)"
        Subject: Re: MB Books as PDFs

        Hey [name deleted] !!

        Here's what I wrote earlier on that same question, which was:

        >My questions have to do with copyrights and usage permissions. Can I
        >just post the pdfs? If so, why have none of the excellent Scouting
        >sites done so? Suppose I password protect the pdfs, allowing access to
        >my Scouts but not the whole world? I've always been under the
        >impression that BSA expected the sales of MB books to support the
        >printing and distribution costs, but not the cost of developing the
        >material. If this is so, why shouldn't BSA itself post pdfs of the
        >books?

        The BSA stated, through their Editorial Division in March of 1996 that
        while employees, volunteers and units may reproduce and distribute copies
        of BSA copyrighted materials for programming purposes without the need for
        written permission... however, the BSA would not allow copyrighted books,
        forms or manuals to be posted to any Internet website without their written
        permission. In 1998, the BSA gave local Councils permission to reproduce
        certain forms, applications and a selected set of Council operations
        booklets in Adobe's (tm) Portable Document Format (PDF) or Microsoft (tm)
        Word's formats. The BSA took the lead by posting several of the
        commonly-requested applications and forms onto their website. Other
        webmasters took the clue and started offering the same forms and materials
        on their sites as well. The BSA also stated that they would proactively "go
        after those" who posted copyrighted BSA materials without their written
        permission (which is in part why you see those same 45 or so publications,
        give or take one or two, on just about everyone's website).

        (and they have....by sending very threatening letters to the webmasters from
        the BSA's legal team reminding them that the BSA has the final authority in
        which materials are converted for usage and which isn't...)

        The reason why the BSA doesn't allow most of their manuals or booklets, to
        include merit badge pamphlets, to be electronically posted, is one of
        finances. The BSA uses the funds generated from the sales of their
        manuals, booklets, training guides and other items as part of their
        national budget. Editorial products fund everything from the recently
        completed National Scout Jamboree to Philmont's Volunteer Training Center
        to materials supporting this fall's "roundup campaign" in our local
        Councils. The BSA has invested a lot of those funds into high-tech
        printing and publishing and have made the turn by producing loose-leafed
        booklets and manuals which can be inserted into three-ring binders, which
        will cut costs in revising and updating over the coming years.

        The underlying reason, however, is one of portability. While we do live in
        an electronic society, and while an increasing number of Scouts and
        Venturers do have access to electronic resources -- personal computers --
        many more of our Scouts and their parents (and many merit badge
        counselors!) do not. This presents a problem for the BSA which they have
        solved by providing printed copies of each of the merit badge pamphlets for
        retail sales. These copies can be kept, written into, underlined and then
        shared with other Scouts or Venturers as they work toward earning that same
        merit badge. This is why the BSA has not produced a CD-ROM, for instance,
        containing all 119 merit badge pams nor an "electronic version" of the Boy
        Scout Handbook.

        Your question has come up a lot of times, and over at the USSSP, I answer about
        ten or so questions about that every month.

        Hope this helps out!!

        Settummanque!

        (LTC) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
        http://www.mninter.net/~blkeagle/
        Burnsville, Minnesota


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Signe Rogers
        To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 8:57 AM
        Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: BALOO Syllabus


        Lawyer Larry:

        We have always been told by our Council office that the BSA gives it's OK & blessing upon the copying of it's materials for further scouting use. I think we all could benefit from a definitive legal answer tho if you will share what you find out.

        Signe Rogers

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Larry D. Ohs, Attorney at Law
        To: scouter_t@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 8:47 AM
        Subject: Re: [Scouter_T] Re: BALOO Syllabus

        ...The lawyer in me is asking, "Will that violate copyright laws?" I'll have to look into that issue.

        --- In scouter_t@y..., Sheila Brown <sbrown@a...> wrote:
        > Does anyone on the list have the BALOO syllabus in pdf format?

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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