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AlabamaDan

Merit Badge Books in PDF Format

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Almost all of my Scouts own a Ipad, Ipod or some type of Kindle device. As a Troop now we do not buy Merit Badge books. If the troop could pay a $100 a year fee to access all of the books. By using some of the new tool in Myscouting you could give each registered scout in your unit access to them. This would also increase the money brought in to the BSA from unit that are not close to a service center.
$100 seems like a lot, but I like the idea of a subscription. That way updates are already included in the price.

 

I don't want them to give up hard copies all together though. As a merit badge counselor, it's helpful to be able to make notes and such in my own copy.

 

For presentations it would be helpful to have digital versions to pull from as well. Just think how much easier it could be to teach from.

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I am donning my 'neo-Luddite' hat now, I would like to add that there is still nothing wrong with those 'old-fashioned' paper pamphlets. They work without electricity and you can jump page-to-page a LOT faster than on some d***** iPhone or similar electronic crutch. And before you go on about pages getting wet or something, dunk that infernal electronic contraption in the creek and let me know how that works for you.
The troop library seems like a good plan unless you have several working on the same MB all at once which is pretty common so digital versions would be helpful.

 

On a campout the hard copy makes sense for anything you PLAN to work on, and the digital copy for things that come up spontaneously.

 

As a merit badge counselor, I really want a hard copy rather than having to read over all that on the computer. I'm only in my 30s and yet, VERY much prefer to read PAPER over a screen, but to have a whole library on one device could be VERY valuable too.

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Welcome to the forums, SharkAttack. Do you have a reference for your claim that libraries can legally make copies? I'd like to read more about that.
I too am interested in this idea.

 

One of our scout's dad is a librarian and would probably work with us if possible.

 

BSA has said that they update 20% of the Merit Badge Pamphlets per year and that's pretty hard to keep up with.

 

A lot of Library Collections are pretty out of date and their funding keeps getting chipped (and sometimes CHOPPED) away at. They may have a harder time helping with this than in the past.

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Copyright is a big deal and violating that not only asks for legal remedies, it is a clear violation of the Scout Law, at least one of them, and the Oath.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with creating a 'lending library' for the troop to use. Old copies of the pamphlets can be donated by boys once they're finished with the merit badges or they can be purchased directly by the troop. OR multiple boys who intend to work on the same badge can share the cost and purchase a single shared copy.

 

But Copyright does prohibit MAKING COPIES, no matter what form they take, even if not for profit.

 

Krampus, telling someone about a criminal activity is not a crime in itself, even if the reader decides to engage in the criminal activity as a result. However, the better action would be to inform those who are breaking the law that they should stop, BEFORE they receive that stiff note from an attorney.

I've seen that site and they make note that the PDF files are for THEIR TROOP ONLY. That seems like it might be how it is justified, the question is whether or not it's legal. Our troop has a private website, so it seems like that might fall under personal and educational use because it really would be accessible to only our troop. I'm wondering about the legality though. If it is legal it might be just what we need. Does anyone know?

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