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VCCS Copyright Guide: TEACH Act

Thanks to Piedmont Community College for allowing the use of their libguide as the foundation for this libguide.

What is the TEACH Act?

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act), which passed in 2002, addresses the use of copyrighted materials in distance education courses. It amends U.S. Code Title 17 (U.S. Copyright Law), sections 110(2) and 112. However, in order to utilize the TEACH Act, certain requirements must be met in advance.

Use the TEACH Act as a checklist that must be met in order to utilize a work in your class. Remember, however, that the exemptions provided in the TEACH Act are "limited in scope" (Russell 46). You can always use fair use, library-licensed materials, or request permission if your use fails to fall under the TEACH Act.

TEACH Act Checklist

Ready to use the TEACH Act? Use this handy checklist to see if you meet all of its requirements.

__ My institution is a nonprofit accredited educational institution or a government agency

__ It has a policy on the use of copyrighted materials

__ It provides accurate information to faculty, students and staff about copyright

__ Its systems will not interfere with technological controls within the materials I want to use

__ The materials I want to use are specifically for students in my class

__ Only those students will have access to the materials

__ The materials will be provided at my direction during the relevant lesson

__ The materials are directly related and of material assistance to my teaching content

__ My class is part of the regular offerings of my institution

__ I will include a notice that the materials are protected by copyright

__ I will use technology that reasonably limits the students' ability to retain or further distribute the materials

__ I will make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of the class session

__ I will store the materials on a secure server and transmit them only as permitted by this law

__ I will not make copies other than the one I need to make the transmission

__ The materials are of the proper type and amount the law authorizes

  • Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works
  • Reasonable and limited parts of a dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual work
  • Displays of other works, such as images, in amounts similar to typical displays in face-to-face teaching

__ The materials are not among those the law specifically excludes from its coverage:

  • Materials specifically marketed for classroom use for digital distance education
  • Copies I know or should know are illegal
  • Textbooks, coursepacks, electronic reserves and similar materials typically purchased individually by the students for independent review outside the classroom or class session

__ If I am using an analog original, I checked before digitizing it to be sure:

  • I copied only the amount that I am authorized to transmit
  • There is no digital copy of the work available except with technological protections that prevent my using it for the class in the way the statute authorizes

TEACH Act-DmF By Antone Piculell