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Copyright, Fair Use, DMCA & The TEACH Act

This research guide is designed to help faculty in the usage of copyrighted material in online instruction. Navigate the pages of this guide using the menu below. This guide is not a substitute for Legal Advice.

TEACH Act Tools

TEACH Act Checklist (from NCSU)

The TEACH Act does not contain specific language for the required copyright notice.  However, the following should suffice:

The materials on this course Web site 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.

TEACH Act Flow Chart by Scholarly Communications @ Duke, Duke University Libraries

What is the TEACH Act?

The TEACH Act, Section 110(2) of the U.S. Copyright Law, expands the scope of educators' rights to perform, display, and to make the copies of works for digital distance education to some extent, making the rights closer to those we have in face-to-face teaching, but it is still quite limited compared to what the statute authorizes for face-to-face teaching and for distance education. 

When the TEACH Act applies, it allows the instructor to transmit performances of entire non-dramatic works and reasonable and limited portions of any other audiovisual work without obtaining permission. For the Act to apply, however, the performance or display must be:

  1. A regular part of mediated instructional activity;
  2. Made by, at the direction of, or under the supervision of the instructor; and
  3. Directly related and of material assistance to the content of the course.

Further, the following technological restraints must be in effect:

  1. The content must be accessible only to students who are enrolled in the course;
  2. The content must be accessible only for the duration of a class session;
  3. To the extent technologically possible, the content must be protected from further distribution;
  4. To the extent technologically possible, the content must not be subject to retention by students (no downloading or stream capture);
  5. All material displayed must contain the following notice:

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. The materials on this course website may be protected by copyright; any further use of this material may be in violation of federal copyright law.

Georgia Harper at the University of Texas has produced an excellent checklist to help you determine if your use qualifies under the TEACH Act.