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Step 3a: TEACH Act Checklist

The TEACH Act (Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act) pertains to transmitting copyrighted material through streaming technology – such as making movie clips, songs, or other AV material available to students through your course management system or some other password protected website.

There are several requirements that must be met in order to benefit from the TEACH Act.  Use the "teach act checklist" to determine if your use of copyrighted material may be covered under the TEACH Act.

Download the Word Document teach_act_checklist.doc

Even if the TEACH Act applies, you may still need to get permission from the copyright holder if your use falls outside Fair Use.

This is what the TEACH Act covers:
  • Any transmission of copyrighted content to students -- including distance students, or material posted to students as homework on a server.
  • The transmission must be within a mediated educational context.

This is what the TEACH Act explicitly ALLOWS:
  • Performances of nondramatic literary works.
  • Performances of nondramatic musical works.
  • Performances of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in “reasonable and limited portions.”
  • Displays of any work “in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session.”

This is what the TEACH Act does NOT cover:
  • The use of copyrighted material in Face-to-Face education. 
  • The use of works that are in the public domain (such as works where copyright has expired or federal information work)

This is what the TEACH Act explicitly EXCLUDES:
  • Works that are marketed “primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks.”
  • Performances or displays given by means of copies “not lawfully made and acquired” under U.S. Copyright Act, if the educational institution “knew or had reason to believe” that they were not lawfully made or acquired.

This page is based on a paper by Kenneth D. Crews. “Copyright Law and Distance Education: Overview of the TEACH Act.” Revised and Updated: August 17, 2010. http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/files/2010/08/teach-act-summary-by-kenneth-crews.pdf

For more information about the TEACH Act go to: Copyright @ USU: TEACH Act

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