Google Drive Preserve Old Versions

I want to keep backups of a small file repository in Google Drive. Occasionally, a file will be deleted from the repository. I'm using rclone copy and not sync, so one would think that wouldn't be a problem. However, the repo owner doesn't delete files, rather replaces them with a 0 byte placeholder version of the same file. If I don't notice that's happened, rclone will simply replace my actual file with the empty placeholder. If 30 days passes, I don't have the ability to look at GDrive Version history and restore the older one.

How can I tell rclone to never replace files that it finds, but to move the older one to an archive file and the 'updated' one gets freshly copied?

Currently I'm running very simple commands- rclone copy --http-url http://source :http: dest: -P --bwlimit XX --tpslimit XX

You can use:

      --backup-dir string                    Make backups into hierarchy based in DIR.

and keep a folder for backups I would suppose.

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