The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was enacted in November 2002 as an amendment of the Copyright Act of 1976. Found in section 110(2), the TEACH Act covers distance education as well as face to face teaching which has an online component. It allows use of copyrighted works but only within defined limits and requires that the Institution, Instructor, and participants enrolled in a course meet specific criteria.
TEACH Act Criteria
- Has a policy on the use of copyrighted materials.
- Provides accurate information to faculty, students, and staff about copyright.
- Promotes compliance with copyright laws.
Faculty and student criteria
- Amount used is comparable to a live classroom setting.
- Content is delivered under the direction of an instructor.
- Materials used are directly related to the course topic.
- Works are made available only to students enrolled in the course, and for a limited time.
- Includes a statement that the materials may be protected by copyright law.
Recommended statement: “The materials on this course website are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated.”
Works that are permitted
- Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works
- Reasonable and limited parts of a dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual works
- Displays of other works, such as images, in amounts similar to typical displays in face-to-face teaching
Works that are Not Permitted
- Materials specifically marketed for classroom use for digital distance education.
- Copies that are unlawful.
- Textbooks, course packs, electronic reserves and similar materials typically purchased or acquired by student for independent review outside the classroom or class session
Note: The TEACH Act is not a replacement for Fair Use. Therefore, if a use is not permitted under the TEACH Act, it may be permitted under Fair Use.
The TEACH Act: New Roles, Rules and Responsibilities for Academic Institutions
TEACH Act Checklist
Crews, Kenneth (2003). Copyright and Distance Education: Making Sense of the TEACH Act.
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