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Mohave Community College Libraries

The TEACH Act (Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization)

The TEACH Act (section 110 (2) of U.S. Copyright Law) expands the scope of online educators' rights to perform and display works and to make copies integral to such performances and displays, making the rights closer to those we have in face-to-face teaching. Although, teachers still have more leeway on using copyrighted materials in face-to-face education than in distance education.

The TEACH Act allows copyrighted works to be digitally transmitted to distance education students without the permission of the copyright holder. But, academic institutions are REQUIRED to first meet specific requirements for copyright compliance and education.

Institutions are not required to use and apply the TEACH Act to distance education programs (but it is available). Use of TEACH Act does not negate other lawful uses of copyrighted works, such as fair use or obtaining permission.

The following requirements MUST be met in order to use copyrighted material for distance education under the TEACH Act. Teachers and instructors are responsible for ensuring these requirements are met:

  • The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution.
  • The use must be part of mediated instructional activities.
  • The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class.
  • The use must either be for ‘live’ or asynchronous class sessions.
  • The use must not include the transmission of textbook materials, materials “typically purchased or acquired by students,” or works developed specifically for online uses.
  • The institution must have developed and publicized its copyright policies, specifically informing students that course content may be covered by copyright, and include a notice of copyright on the online materials (see Copyright example statements).
  • The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.


Copyright Notice Examples to provide to students:

Materials on this course site are intended for the purpose of students enrolled in this course and may not be copied, downloaded, or otherwise disseminated for the use of others.

The use of this copyrighted performance is permitted under the TEACH Act. Viewing is limited to (and intended for) students enrolled in this course. Retaining or distributing of this material is prohibited.

Under the TEACH Act, educators are allowed to:

  • show the FULL performance of a non-dramatic literary (or musical) work or display the following (partial list):
    • sound recording of a piece of literature or poem
    • still images or photographs (considered displays)
    • still images from the library's subscription databases (if allowed by license)
  • show "reasonable AND limited portions" of dramatic works (only allowed to show the portions necessary to make your point). Dramatic works include (partial list):
    • musicals
    • operas
    • commercial films and movies
    • music videos

Under the TEACH Act, educators are NOT allowed to:

  • Display, transmit, or otherwise post instructional materials that students are "expected to purchase." These include but are not limited to:
    • textbooks
    • workbooks
    • lab manuals
    • digital educational works
  • Entirety of "dramatic works"
    • commercial films, movies, and TV shows (the exception is if it is one of MCC Libraries subscription film databases).

TEACH Act Checklist

__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:

  1. Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works
  2. Reasonable and limited parts of a dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual work
  3. 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:

  1. Materials specifically marketed for classroom use for digital distance education
  2. Copies I know or should know are illegal
  3. 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:

  1. I copied only the amount that I am authorized to transmit
  2. There is no digital copy of the work available except one with technological protections that prevent my using it for the class in the way the statute authorizes
Creative Commons License "TEACH Act Checklist" by University of Texas Libraries is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0