Beavah; the possibly violated statute(s) relate to copyright and BSA's right to the items and their control. We "are not talking about old insignia here", rather current, restricted items somehow being obtained without the required paperwork being files. Big difference. And I am not a Francis, and you lost me on that inference. Must have something to do with someone that is too concerned about what some consider minor issues or things.
" Is there a rule against selling them?"
Actually there IS a rule about selling unauthorized items; that is why they have restrictive paperwork.
"I guess I don't see the problem."
And here lies the rub, so to speak. Too many people simply do not view pushing the bounds of honesty as important, as long as it does not hurt them personally in some manner. The Oath and Law are part of an "Honor Code". But, as noted earlier, "honor" is a personal thing. And, the seller in this actually brags about being an Eagle Scout. Now whether or not he is cannot be determined. But, "if" he is, then, in my personal opinion he is a very poor example. Maybe part of it is that he apparently lives within my area, and has tried to obtain things through our office. When not allowed to, in quantity (which is really the point, since it is to sell for HIS profit, not the BSA), he was rude to the staff.
Whatever. Hopefully someone at National Supply will finally realize they have a problem somewhere, in that a few individuals seem able to obtain these types of things in a less than upfront manner.
(This message has been edited by skeptic)
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- Jul 2007
- Nov 2003
The Insignia Guide includes this exerpt from the Rules and Regulations of the Boy scouts of America:
"Protection and Use of Badges and Insignia
Clause 8. All badges and insignia of the Boy Scouts of America shall be used exclusively by members of the Boy Scouts of America, registered and in good standing according to the records at the national office, who qualify in accordance with the provisions herein set forth or as may be authorized by the Executive Board from time to time and published in the official handbooks by the Corporation.
Clause 9. All badges and insignia shall remain the property of the Boy Scouts of America subject to recall for cause by the Corporation or its duly authorized representative."
Theoretically, we pay for the privilege to wear the insignia, which the National Council can take back, if they feel there is cause to do so.
In addition, I believe the BSA's Congressional Charter gives the corporation the sole rights to the insignia. T 36 United States Code Chapter 309.
- Jun 2005
I think that copyright law doesn't come in to play here - if it did, Half Price Books, Good Will and St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores would all need to stop selling second-hand books!
Be careful what you wish for - do you really want some private corporation (like the BSA) to have the power to tell you what you may or may not legally do with the things you purchase? Would you want your automobile dealer to prohibit you from selling your car, or to prohibit you from having it serviced by a competitor? And have those ridiculous prohibitions legally enforceable?
The BSA does not have any "right" to "control" my own personal property, even when that personal property is an item manufactured by the BSA.
- Feb 2008
No, copyright doesn't come into play here. If you sell a copyrighted item - a book or photograph or design or patch - you no longer have control over that item. What you control, as the copyright-holder, is the ability to produce more of those items.
BSA can put whatever puffed-up language it wants in its bylaws, but none of it has any bearing on what we do with an item once we purchase it. That's our business. It might be different if the BSA was loaning out its badges under an agreement that they would be returned once people left the membership rolls, but that's clearly not the system in place here.
As for the point of the OP, I think the practice is sleazy, but not worth getting one's knickers in a twist over. There are a whole lot of patch collectors who own items they never earned out there. Heck, we even have a forum here for them. I just don't see it as a big deal.
P.S. "Lighten up, Francis" is a quote from Sgt. Hulka from the classic film "Stripes," a moving, powerful documentary about the modern military.(This message has been edited by shortridge)
I don't lose one second of sleep worrying about this.
There are folks that buy scout stuff, and folks that sell it. Matters not to me.
Wearing unearned scouting regalia? That is such a sad commentary on the unauthorized wearer himself, it fails to raise any kind of reaction from me. Except pity.
If someone really feels the need to wear unearned WB beads, or an Eagle knot, or a Philmont arrowhead, the wearer himself is both offender and victim.
Basement, I too have been the recipient of world-class snobbery, primarily because I haven't been to WB. Secondarily, because I'm a military guy who moves alot and is sometimes viewed As Not One Of The Tried and True Oldtimers Of This Particular District. I used to let it bother me. Now I feel sad for the guy or gal trying to tweak my whiskers. If they feel the need to belittle me because they have seven beads and I have none, or because they have lived in the same place for awhile and I haven't, well, that's more about them than me.
(This message has been edited by desertrat77)
- Jun 2004
Odds are this seller is probably a past scout and knows how many scouts and scouters out there are willing to buy these products for whatever personal reasons to make a quick buck.
Fact is that most National run scout stores it is extremely easy to go in and buy a Eagle badge or most any restricted item without ever being asked for paperwork. If you are an adult the store help figures you are authorized, or don't really care, that's the way they run the National store in my council. All the Eagle badges, Silver, Ranger, Gold awards I have purchased for my troop or crew over the years, and never once was asked for paperwork. The rules mean nothing if they are not being consistently enforced throughout the country. The reality is no one is abusing anything, it is the holes in the system.
Added note, anyone can get WB beads, necker, and woggle from Gilwell Park without any documentation either by ordering online or visiting Gilwell in person. I have ordered replacements for myself and additional ones for scouter friends beading ceremonies.
Regarding snobbery. I think I've seen this but since I don't 'get' many of the social signals that some of us are really sensitive to, I might just have missed it. I HAVE seen certain groups of scouters who seem to be very closely-knitted in their interactions and for this, woodbadge does come to mind. I just don't actually 'feel' any slight by it though. OMG, does that make ME a snob?!
So I just invite myself into the group whenever I want. I just sort of bumble into it smiling and if they seem uncomfortable, I just ask them straight up and apologetically, "Am I intruding?" "Am I not supposed to be here?"
They almost never say 'yes'. So usually at that point I'm 'in'. Woohoo!
Being a social clutz can actually be a lot of fun at times! It also helps to have layer of water-resistant feathers.
Oh...a horse is a horse, of course, of course....
Packsaddle, gosh, golly, congratulations on your super mixing skills !
I'm not unfamiliar with breaking the ice, social nuances, and building bonds. I'm at the point in my military career where I spend more time at conferences, luncheons, meetings, civic events, than I care to think about.
Perhaps we should define terms. By snobbery, I don't mean folks enjoying their longstanding friendships, nor a simple lack of common courtesy. I'm talking about overt behavior, verbal and non-verbal, where the message is clear--you don't belong ("why yes, you are intruding!") and/or you aren't qualified to speak. When you introduce yourself to another scouter for the first time, and he scowls and scans your uniform instead of looking you in the eye, and then walks away in a huff, that's the first level of snobbery.
I'm getting ready to move again...will be my four council in five years. My current district has probably been the most friendly to new folks.
- Jun 2005
Yah, what KC9DDI and shortridge said, eh?
The "rule" about not selling restricted items is an internal rule for BSA employees. One honored as much in the breach as in the observance, to quote the old bard. A rule for employees has no bearing on anyone else. The fellow at McDonalds might not be permitted to put too much ketchup on a burger, but once he sells me the burger I'm free to add as much ketchup as I like.
Similarly, anything in the BSA's Rules and Regulations really only applies to members of the corporation and to a lesser extent to general members, and only in a very limited context where it doesn't cross over into a person's general rights to liberty. The BSA can attempt to "recall" badges, uniforms, or other branded items that they have sold to people all the livelong day. If they actually try to take them back we call that "theft" in the real world, and punish said BSA official with jail time. The BSA can no more "recall" the items that it has sold than Levi Strauss can "recall" the jeans it has sold you.
As to copyright, the original Eagle Scout badge and medal were made available in 1912, and therefore copyright expired in 1982.
- May 2011
Actually the BSA insignia are registered trademarks. Not sure how that differs from copyright, but I'll leave that up to the legal beagles, er..beavers. Last Christmas, a friend gave me a set of the centennial rank badges that he had purchased on Ebay, because he thought I would like them as a collector. If the BSA wants them back, they can pry them from my cold, dead, fingers...or buy them for a buck at the yard sale after I die.
- Nov 2004
The rule that infoscouter quotes says that the badges can only be "used by members who qualify". So I do get why it would be unethical to try to pass yourself off as an Eagle when you aren't one, or to wear badges that you aren't entitled to. What I don't get is why it would be unethical for patch traders to buy and sell patches.
So if I have a bunch of patches and wanted to sell them, why would that be a problem? (Not that I have ever tried selling anything on eBay, but I do have a fair collection of patches.)
- Nov 2009
It's call Free Enterprise. People can sell anything not deemed illegal. BSA Patches are legally purchased and can be sold. Get used to it. Brother I went to Ranger School. and you can find Ranger emblems all over the Net for sell. along with all sorts of Police, FBI etc.. etc..
My suggestion for you is to not buy from the guy.. enough people stop buying then he will be forced to stop buying and selling himself. Supply and Demand..
- Jun 2006
Of course every scout that trades patches falls into this problem. OA patches for non-OA members? OA patches being sold to someone not a member of that particular chapter?
The list goes on and on and yet... the list goes on and on. Not much anyone can do about it.
Non-BSA or former BSA collectors are around and there are those who are willing to sell. If BSA had a legal department large enough to handle the problem, BSA would financially collapse.
- May 2008
The most basic part of patches is to make money. Whether it's to add to Council, National, or personal coffers. That's why we have Council strips for FOS, trainign scholarships, wood badge, Jamboree, etc. It's a simple, effective way to raise cash!
I know 2-3 Scout shops that carry Silver Antelope and Silver Buffalo knots. Bet i could walk in one and buy one
Then flood the market with a product that is just as good, indistinguishable from the real thing, and the price will tank. Then the risk of getting the real thing will outweigh the potential benefit.
Solution: make enough fake badges so that the entire world is awash in them.
OR...as already suggested, don't buy them.
Thing is, this guy is not doing this because it isn't effective. He's doing it because someone, somewhere, is willing to pay. THAT is the problem.
P.S. I started to use an illegal drug analogy but I thought scout patches would compare better to wildlife body parts than to something like heroin or crystalmeth.