Legal Matters in Scouting
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Sat, 1 Jul 1995 19:42:19 -0400
Several topics lately have raised some legal issues where I thought I
that as a lawyer I might be able to cast some light.
Scouting's Intellectual Property:
There was some discussion about reproducing Scouting material and whether
we have the right to do so. BSA is a chartered corporation and holds
exclusive rights to its insignia, symbols, logos, and copyrighted material.
You who are registered Scouters are members of the corporation. As such
you can use the corporation's property to further the corporation's
interests. That is to say you can use symbols and logos on unit
letterhead, newsletters, etc., you can reproduce Scouting materials, and
you can quote from Scouting materials.
However, you must respect the copyrights of others that are not held by
BSA. Look to see who holds the copyright before reproducing. Their are
many items of literature sold by Scout Shopes and distributors that
contain privately held copyrights; e.g. religious emblem literature, that
you cannot reproduce without specific permission.
Be aware that you cannot use Scouting's intellectual property to further a
personal or commercial interest (profit for self or others). So if you
write a book, phamplet, etc. that you plan to sell, you will have to get
BSA's permission before you can use their symbols, logos, insignia,
graphics files, copyrighted material, etc. Similarly, if you are involved
in fundraising you must secure Council approval for the fundraiser and
when you do you need to expressly request any use you plan of Scouting
symbols, wearing the uniform, etc.
The long distance telephone cards with Scouting logos sound great - but a
word of caution: unless you have written permission from BSA for the
design you plan to use, you will be violating their rights and may be
liable for infringement. I would personally question whether this would
be an appropriate use - it seems to be promoting the commercial product of
a vendor like an endorsement. See your Scout Executive on this.
I have looked high and low in BSA Guide to Health and Safety, The Safe
Scouting Guide, Handbooks, Leader Manuals, etc. and haven't found any
statement on how to handle Rx medications. This has apparently been left
to local Councils because of the myrid of state and local laws that come
to bear. The best bet is to check with your Council office to see what
policy they have developed in concert with the lawyers they have on their
executive board, who are more familiar with local laws. Similarly, if you
are traveling out of Council for a campout or to attend a camp, you should
check with the local Council in that area for guidance.
In NCAC, medications must be dispensed in camp under the supervision of
the health lodge.
The prevailing view seems to be that medications should be stored and
administered under adult supervision, even if the only adult role is to
store and allow the Scout to self-medicate. This makes it essential that
all medications be noted on medical forms and releases. Likewise storage
needs to be in a locked container in a place where heat and/or light won't
alter the chemical composition of the Rx. If local laws prohibit
dispensing Rx, the leader has two alternatives - opening the lock box and
allowing the Scout to retrieve his property (the same as for valuables) or
getting a power of attorney to act for the parents in their stead during
the outing. However, this is just general information and you should
consult with your local Council for policy as indicated above.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
Prof. Beaver, Nat. Capital Area Council, BSA mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City