Teach Act


Fair Use is for face-to-face teaching whereas the Teach Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act) is for the delivery of distance education by non-profit educational institutions.

Requirements - The following requirements must be met in order to qualify for the TEACH Act:

  • The teaching must occur at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution.
  • Only lawfully acquired works must be used.
  • The work is integral to the class session.
  • Use is limited to performances and displays. The TEACH Act does not apply to materials that are for students' independent use and retention, such as textbooks or readings.
  • Use of materials must be within the context of "mediated instructional activities" analogous to the activities of a face-to-face class session.
  • The materials to be used should not include transmission of textbooks, materials typically purchased by students, or works primarily developed for online use (i.e. an electronic textbook or a multimedia tutorial).
  • Only those students enrolled in the class should have access to the material.
  • All instructional activities and materials are under the instructor’s control and supervision.
  • Reasonable efforts must be made to prevent students from distributing the material after viewing it and to implement technological measures beyond merely assigning a password to ensure copyright compliance.  These measures may include authentication through Internet Protocol, checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.
  • If a digital version of the work is already available, then an analog copy cannot be converted for educational use.
  • Students must be informed that the materials they access are protected by copyright.
  • The educational institution must have a policy on the use of copyrighted materials and provide informative resources for faculty advising them on their rights.
  • The institution must prominently display this notice of copyright on all online materials: COPYRIGHT RESTRICTION: The materials on this course site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course. Students must not retain or disseminate them to others.
  • Full credit must be given for works used. 


Duties and Responsibilities

1. Institution's Role

  • Copyright policy
  • Copyright information
  • Notice to students
  • Enrolled students only

2. Informational Technology Officials' Role

  • Limit access
  • Storage and dissemination
  • Prevent obstruction of digital rights
  • Retention of copies

3. Instructions' Responsibility

  • Direct supervision
  • Know and display only what is allowed
  • Material directly related to class content
  • Not convert analog to digital according to portions allowed by law and digital version it not available

       Resource: American Library Association

Checklist - University of Texas

Exclusions – The Teach Act does not extend to the following situations: 

  1. Electronic reserves, course packs (electronic or paper), workbooks,  or interlibrary loan (ILL).
  2. Commercial document delivery.
  3. Textbooks or other digital content provided under license from the author, publisher, aggregator or other entity.
  4. Conversion of materials from analog to digital formats, except when the converted material is used solely for authorized transmissions and when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures.
  5. Digital educational work produced or marketed specifically for online education.

       Resources: Ball State University and Copyright.com


• Seek individual permission from copyright holder 

  1. Before using copyrighted works in educational multimedia projects for commercial reproduction and distribution.
  2. Before using all copyrighted works in personally created educational multimedia projects prior to replication or distribution beyond the limits of copying and distribution described above.
  3. When using copyrighted information over and beyond what is allowed.

      Resourse from the University of Texas

• There is no need to ask permission from the copyright holder 

  1. If the material on the Internet is licensed by Creative Commons
  2. If a movie with public performance rights will be shown in a public setting on the campus of an educational institution. 

• To obtain permission 

  1. Contact the author
  2. Contact the publisher
  3. Copyright Clearance Center –individual and blanket licensing services for print only.
  4. RSiCopyright – online links or reprints

      Resource: Fishman, Stephen. The Copyright Handbook: What Every Writer Needs to Know. 11th ed.  Nolo, 2011. pp. 371-375.

Copyright Procedures