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photo/video policy

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Do any Troops out ther have a photo/video policy. We are having some issues in our troop about what can and cannot be pt on a web site.

Someone came up with a vague BSA policy in reference to Council "employees" taking photos but none of us can find any "Offical" BSA guidelines.

Thanks for any help

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Yah, cheffy, there are no BSA policies or guidance on unit websites. That's left to the COs and the units, as it should be.


Unit Sites... the council [should] remain completely uninvolved in and, inasmuch as possible, unaware of any Internet publication produced by any group or individual not authorized to serve as a representative of the council or the Boy Scouts of America.


I'm not sure that yeh need a policy as a unit. I think the simplest policy is "we won't do anything an individual boy or parent asks us not to do... or if we did, we'll take it down as soon as we are asked to."


Keep it simple.


Of course sometimes there's a busy-body who wants all the other parents to do it their way, eh? Probably the same ones who have never looked at their kids' MySpace accounts. ;) Is that the sort of issue you've got goin' on?




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In my council they recommened that you don't identify Scouts by name in photos on the website and that nothing go against Scouting principles. For example, you wouldn't want banner ads for "HotTeens.com" no matter how easy that would make fund raising. :-)

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The following text is cut and pasted from a Council's web site...the name of the Council has been redacted to protect the guilty...



Council policy on unit Web sites


Please note that the XXX Council has no current page with links to units. This is being done for a number of reasons, but first and foremost, we are trying to follow the recommendations that we do not allow such a page on our web site. In addition to the bottom listed items we will strongly recommend:


A. The person operating your Web Site, be a registered volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts of America. If not, then an employee of the chartering organization.


B. The unit own its domain name...for example: www.(council).com is owned by the XXX Council using a service to protect it from being hacked.


C. A unit web site should contain no links to any site that sells any products or advertises any products. The sole exceptions would be the XXX Council and of course the chartering organization.


D. Doing a web site takes a lot of time and our hope is that if a unit chooses to be put a web site up, that the contact information be correct and current. The web site should be checked weekly for correctness and individuals contacting people at the unit should be able to respond in a timely fashion. The major problem with the vast majority of all unit web sites is old, stale, and non current contact information.


Please note, that the XXX Council does not have the current resources to weekly review each unit web site. When a better system can be implemented and we have been granted permission to have unit links again by the National council, we shall proceed, but not until then. We thank you for your understanding of this sensitive Youth Protection and Service to all parties in or seeking to do business with Scouting.


These guidelines were approved by the XXX Council Executive Board on , upon recommendation of the Council Marketing Committee. They are adapted from policy established by the BSA Electronics Publishing Division for council Web sites.



Only unit web sites that adhere to these guidelines may be linked to the official XXX Council web site.


The appropriate unit leadership must have control over the content of the unit's official web site (i.e. the unit committee, uniformed leadership and chartered partner representative). If youth members are involved, they must be under the direct supervision of adults who have control of all content.

The content of the unit site must be appropriate to the Scouting movement and consistent with the Scout Law.

A unit site shall not contain any links directly to any site that contains material that is not appropriate to the Scouting movement.

A unit web site should not contain full names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses or other identifying information about youth members.

No unit site should contain bulletin boards or chat rooms that make it possible for youth members to communicate with others through the site.

A unit site should consider the safety and privacy of members by obtaining permissions to release information about or identifying images of any specific person.

Preferably, a unit site should not contain any advertisements or commercial endorsements, except for the organization providing the site service if its provided for free or at discount. If a site does contain advertising, care should be taken to make certain that none of the advertising is inconsistent with the purposes of Scouting.

A standard money-earning application must be filed with the council before any merchandise is offered for sale on a unit web site. No merchandise can be sold through a unit web site using electronic fund transfers.

A unit site must abide by all laws regarding copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property.

A unit site must include the name of the unit's chartered partner, contact information for the unit committee and an e-mail contact address for reaching the person managing the site, so visitors can report any problems or concerns.

A unit web site should never be made to appear more official than it is. The page should not represent itself as an official publication of the council or national organization of Boy Scouts of America, not even to casual readers.

Should a unit web site move or be abandoned after a link to the council site is established, the council should be notified by e-mail or other means, so that the link can be changed or removed.


(This message has been edited by scoutldr)(This message has been edited by scoutldr)

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true enuff, many councils have there own use policys.


the only national policy I know of is that, uniformed scouts are not to be photographed with political candidets.


we had a problem in witch a picture of a uniformed eagle scout and John McCane surficed in the local paper after a speach.


it went all the way to national. we and the paper were contacted by the national councils legal department.

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The "official" BSA policy can be found on the BSA National Web site.


This is what BSA has to say about photos on Council Web sites -


Photographs and Names


A council should obtain permission before publishing any photographs on the Internet except those taken by council employees.


Because some states have privacy laws that could be implicated if a child's photograph is published on the Internet without his parents' permission, ownership of the image alone does not carry with it the right to publish it. Therefore, the council should obtain permission from any person who is the subject of a photograph before displaying their image or likeness on the Internet.


When using photographs of members, especially youth, it is also important to consider their safety and privacy when choosing captions or ancillary text. Some councils have established policies that no names will be associated with photographs at all, whereas others have a "first name only" policy for youth under a certain age, but allow the full names of adult leaders and older Scouts to be published.


Their advise for Unit Web sites is similar. You can find it here, along with some suggested release forms -





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You hit it on the head with that reply,

I'll give you the long story.

The boys wanted to work on cinamatography MB. So we have a campout and every patrol makes a movie. We kept the movies in good Scout fashion(no guns,death etc). They actually came out very good and that nights cracker barrel was oscar night. Kind of fun.

Well the guys are proud of their work and some posted it on youtube. Someone in the Troop found out and overreacted. Asked to have the videos pulled. Mind you none of the videos had names of Scouts attached and were I.d.ed only as "Dragons production".

This person also looked at some youtube items produced by some older Scouts for their high school video production class and took offense and asked to have them pulled also. They are still(one just recently won an award) there but this person is now trying to impliment policy based on censorship.

We already have a policy that says we can take photos and post on our Troop web site, which can be viewed by the public just like a youtube can be.

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