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“Conference-approved” — What It Means to You
The term “Conference-approved” describes written or audiovisual material approved by the Conference for publication by G.S.O. This process assures that everything in such literature is in accord with A.A. principles. Conference-approved material always deals with the recovery program of Alcoholics Anonymous or with information about the A.A. Fellowship.
The term has no relation to material not published by G.S.O. It does not imply Conference disapproval of other material about A.A. A great deal of literature helpful to alcoholics is published by others, and A.A. does not try to tell any individual member what he or she may or may not read.
Conference approval assures us that a piece of literature represents solid A.A. experience. Any Conference-approved booklet or pamphlet goes through a lengthy and painstaking process, during which a variety of A.A.s from all over the United States and Canada read and express opinions at every stage of production.
How To Tell What Is and What Is Not “Conference Approved”
Look for the statement on books, pamphlets and films: “This is A.A. General Service Conference-approved Literature”.
Not all “A.A. Literature” is Conference-approved: central offices and intergroups do write and distribute pamphlets or booklets that are not Conference-approved. If such pieces meet the needs of the local membership, they may be legitimately classified as “A.A. literature.” There is no conflict between A.A. World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S. — publishers of Conference-approved literature), and central offices or intergroups — rather they complement each other. The Conference does not disapprove of such material.
G.S.O. does develop some literature that does not have to be approved by the Conference, such as service material, guidelines and bulletins.
Available at Most A.A. Groups
Most local A.A. groups purchase and display a representative sampling of Conference-approved pamphlets, and usually carry a supply of hardcover books. Conference-approved literature may be available at central offices and intergroups, or it may be ordered directly from G.S.O. Groups normally offer pamphlets free of charge, and the books at cost.
Refer to the current AA Service Manual for full details on Copyrights, Logos and Trademarks (pages S41-42, S80).
Conference-approved literature is copyrighted with the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., U.S.A. To insure the continued integrity of A.A. literature, and to make sure the A.A. recovery program will not be distorted or diluted, permission
to reprint must be obtained from A.A.W.S. in writing.
However, A.A. newsletters, bulletins, or meeting lists have blanket permission to use the material, providing proper credit is given to insure that the copyrights of A.A. literature are protected.
The A.A. Preamble is copyrighted by The A.A. Grapevine, Inc. (not by A.A. World Services). Beneath it, these words should appear: “Reprinted with permission of the A.A. Grapevine, Inc.”
The Steps and Traditions should be followed by these words: “Reprinted with Permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.”