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Copying features with links is the same, whether the feature is published or not.
The biggest difference is when the parent feature is modified, or replaced.
For example: Let's say we have a Line (LINE.x) that is the center axis of several featues. And we copy with a link to another Part and then create several sketches that are constrained to this line.
If LINE.X is deleted and replaced with LINE.Y, the link will be broken. LINE.Y will have to be re-copied to the other Part. All the sketches will have bad constraints, and they will have to be re-connected.
If the Line had been published (CENTERLINE), when it is deleted and replaced AND re-published, then the link remains good, and all the sketches constrained to the CENTERLINE will remain good.