Answered By: Woodruff Library Reference
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015     Views: 55

The primary exceptions to copyright law used in teaching are:

This exception is applicable when the instructor and students of a nonprofit educational institution are in a traditional face-to-face classroom or other place devoted to synchronous instruction. In this setting, an instructor may perform or display a work (music, text, images, video), as long as the work was lawfully obtained. For example, an instructor may show a video checked out from the library or rented from Netflix.

The TEACH Act applies to virtual instruction, when a course is either taught solely online or when parts of a traditional face-to-face course are taught online, such as through Blackboard. The basic premise behind TEACH is to allow comparable instruction online as to that in a traditional classroom. Certain conditions must be met in order to apply TEACH:

  • The institution must have policies, provide information and give notice that the materials used may be protected by copryight;
  • The performance or display must be part of a mediated instructional activity;
  • Made by or at the direction of the instructor;
  • Directly related to the course;
  • Limited to only the students enrolled in the course; and
  • Technological measures must be taken to reasonably prevent students from retaining the materials beyond the class session (for example streaming a portion of a video).

Additionally, there are specific requirements relating to course material under TEACH. The following materials may be transmitted under the TEACH exception:

  • Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works.
  • Performances of limited and reasonable portions of dramatic literary and musical works, audiovisual works, and sound recordings.
  • Displays of works but only in an amount comparable to what would be displayed in a live classroom setting. (For example: images such as photographs and slides)
  • Materials that can be considered supplementary and would not be used in a live classroom setting (For example: recommended readings)

The following materials may not be transmitted under the TEACH exception:

  • Materials that are specifically marketed for educational use. (For example: textbooks)
  • Materials that are typically purchased by students for their research and classroom use. (For example: workbooks, textbooks, coursepacks)
  • Illegal copies of materials.

 The materials must also contain a notice stating that they may be subject to copyright protection.

If your use does not fall within either of the above exceptions, then you should apply the fair use analysis.

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