General guidelines for Online Instruction: The TEACH Act
In 2002 the TEACH Act (Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act), which later became part of Public Law 107-273, attempted to address the use of copyrighted materials in distance and/or online education settings.
What types of use does the TEACH cover?
Specifically, it covers transmission of:
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.
TEACH Act Resources
TEACH ACT checklist
This handy checklist is from University of Texas at Austin's Copyright Crash Course and provides a quick way to assess whether a specific use falls under TEACH Act guidelines.