Section 110 of U.S. Copyright Law discusses use of copyrighted materials for teaching purposes. The law originally covered only face-to-face teaching situations until the 2002 TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act) attempted to address the use of copyrighted materials in distance and/or online settings.
What types of use does TEACH cover?
What do I have to do to use the TEACH Act?
The TEACH Act includes a number of criteria for compliance including institution-level criteria as well as criteria applying to the specific educational setting. Unless all criteria are met, the TEACH Act may not apply. Below is a list of TEACH Act criteria.
Institutional Criteria--only non-profit educational institutions are eligible to take advantage of TEACH. Institutions must:
Educational Setting Criteria--performances and displays must:
What if the TEACH Act doesn't seem to apply?
The TEACH Act does not in any way undermine or set aside fair use. Educators may always look to fair use if the TEACH Act does not apply to a particular example. For more information, see the Fair Use tab.
Even if you do not seek to use the TEACH act, it is highly recommended that online and distance educators follow these best practices when using copyrighted materials in a distance or online setting.