In Lightroom, there is no way to copy photos that have been imported.
You can only move imported photos using Lightroom.
It's not really clear what you are trying to accomplish, but if you could explain it better, perhaps we can think of a way to do this. Saying "sort of a backup" really doesn't explain it.
Ok. Ill see if I can explain better. Here is my scenario.
I have a folder in my catalog that ill call "FOLDER 1".This folder has images with edits.
Outside of lightoroom I've made a duplicate of FOLDER 1 called FOLDER 2 and added it to my catalog. Both folders contain identical sets of images.
Now I would like to copy my LR edits from FOLDER 1 to FOLDER 2. I could copy image edits one by one, but with a large number of images that would be very time consuming
It would be nice to have a feature where you could right click FOLDER 1, "copy edits", then right click FOLDER 2 and "paste edits"
There is no such feature, and I don't understand why you want to do all this work, what is the benefit?
I guess the benefit would be to be able to see your original files and backup files in the same catalog with their respective edits. I know it sounds redundant (which makes sense when talking about backups), but its just something I'm trying out and this is the first problem I've encountered. I also noticed Lightroom doesn't like folders with same names even if their parent folder is different. I discovered that in this exercise, which seems like a flaw
No, it doesn't make sense to me. It is redundant in a non-helpful way. The purpose of making backups is to protect your important files in case of a hard disk crash or file corruption. Backups, by definition, must be on a different physical disk, and if you have backups in the same catalog, then you don't have a backup of the catalog itself. If your hard drive fails, or the catalog becomes corrupted, then you have zero copies of your catalog, and this particular backup method has not helped in any way.
The best method is to make backups of your catalog file, and backups of all photos, and place these backups on a different physical disk than the originals, so if the originals are lost somehow, you still have exact identical copies of everything that can be used.
I think you may have a misconception of how a backup really works in Lightroom. You have to remember that the adjustments you make to the images are not applied to the image files themselves, but rather are simply stored in the catalog. So you need to make sure that you back up your catalog frequently. Then all you need to worry about is to make sure you have a single backup of your images. In the future, if your images go bad,, or the drive that they are stored on goes bad, all that is necessary is to point the catalog to the backup images. Or, you can copy those backup images to a new hard drive and point the catalog to those copies. All of the adjustments are stored in the catalog will be applied to those copies when they are displayed in Lightroom. So if you have backup for your images, and you backup your catalog frequently, that is really all you need.
I agree with both of you dj_paige and JimHess. The duplicate images are stored in the cloud (drive/box/dropbox), so its technically its own separate drive. I usually do my backups as you are suggesting. But say the duplicate folder is not a backup? it could just be duplicate set of images for further work.
I think this feature could work in some way just haven't quite figured it out. -_-
I don't think there is a good reason to keep backups in the catalog itself, as you are proposing. I can't think of a single reason why they should be in there, and I can think of definite drawbacks — you need extra work to accomplish this, and if you ever edit or add metadata to one of these photos, the backups will not change, so technically they are no longer backups, even in the incorrect sense that you are using.
Your duplicate folder, as proposed, is not a backup.
If you want a "duplicate set of images for further work", this is an entirely new thought in this thread, and as soon as you work on them, they are no longer backups (not that they were backups anyway). Furthermore, there is a much easier way to create "a duplicate set of images for further work" in Lightroom, that is via virtual copies.
Lastly, side note, in this thread you have mentioned you have made backups of your photos in the cloud, but you haven't mentioned that you have made backups of your catalog file. I hope this is just an omission in your writing, I assume you are making regular and automated backups of your catalog file. Are you?