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Copyright: TEACH Act and Distance Education

Information related to copyright, fair use, the TEACH Act and Distance Education

What is the TEACH Act?

TEACH Act Basics:

  • signed into law in November 2002
  • acronym stands for Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act
  • amends sections of the U.S. Copyright Act - 110(2) and 112(f)

TEACH Act and Distance Education:

According to the Copyright Clearance Center, the TEACH Act:

  • gives instructors a greater range of usable copyrighted materials
  • allows students to participate in distance education from anywhere
  • grants more leeway in the storage, copying and digitization of copyrighted works

TEACH ACT Requirements:

Under the TEACH Act an institution must meet the following requirements for copyright compliance:

  • be non-profit and accredited
  • participate in mediated instruction
  • limit student enrollment in classes
  • deliver class sessions via 'live' or asynchronous methods
  • refrain from transmitting course materials traditionally purchased by students (ex. textbooks)
  • develop and publicize copyright policies
  • inform students that "course content may or may not be covered by copyright"
  • post notices of copyright on any online resources/materials
  • implement technological procedures to ensure copyright compliance (more than just assigning passwords):
    • location and user authentication (IP based)
    • time outs for content viewing
    • disabling right-click, copy-paste, print options

The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance. (2005). Copyright Clearance Center | The Copyright Licensing Experts. Retrieved from Copyright Basics: The TEACH Act

What is NOT Covered:

New exemptions do not extend to:

  • interlibrary loan (ILL), electronic reserve materials, coursepacks (paper and electronic formats)
  • delivery of commercial documents
  • content provided through licensing from an aggregator, author, or publishing company
  • the conversion of analog materials. However, conversion to digital is allowed if the material "is used solely for authorized transmissions and when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures"

The Campus Guide to Copyright Compliance. (2005). Copyright Clearance Center | The Copyright Licensing Experts. Retrieved from Copyright Basics: The TEACH Act

TEACH Act Resources