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Copyright Resources

A primer on copyright and fair use.

TEACH Act Basics

TEACH Act Resources

What is the TEACH Act?

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act, more commonly known as the TEACH Act, updated U.S. copyright law regarding the display and transmission of copyright protected materials by accredited, nonprofit educational institutions and is especially relevant for the use of teaching materials online. 

TEACH Act Conditions:

•  You can perform a nondramatic literary work, a nondramatic musical work, or reasonable portions of any other work.  

•  You can display any other work in an amount comparable to that typically displayed in a live classroom setting.

•  You cannot use works produced or marketed primarily for performance/display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks or unlawfully made copies.

•  The works used must be under the actual supervision of an instructor as part of a class session.

•  The works must be used as part of systematic mediated instructional activities and directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content.

•  You may digitize an analog work if no digital version is available to the institution or the digital version is locked to prevent TEACH uses.

•  The transmission (of the performance or display) must be made solely for and reception limited to students enrolled in the course, i.e., access controls.

•  You must institute technological measures that reasonably prevent retention in accessible form for longer than a class session (this means prevent printing, saving, downloading, etc.) Also referred to as "downstream controls".

•  You must not interfere with technological measures that prevent retention and dissemination put there by the copyright holder.

•  Copyright notice must be provided to students.

Source:  N.C. State University, "Overview of TEACH Act Requirements"

TEACH Act Provisions



NEW § 110(2) 


Nonprofit educational institutions

Accredited nonprofit educational institutions & government bodies


Face-to-face teaching 

Transmissions & over digital networks


All works

Same + reasonable & limited portions of other works – except works produced of marketed primarily for display as part of mediated instructional activity via digital network


For instruction, not entertainment

Display of any work in amount comparable to that typically displayed in live classroom.
Performance of reasonable & limited portions of all except nondramatic literary & musical works (full for these)



(1)  Systematic mediated instructional activity
(2)  At direction of or under actual supervision of instructor
(3) Integral part of class session


For audiovisual works, copy must have been lawfully made 

For all works, copy must have been lawfully made


In a “classroom” 

Anywhere but with technological conditions met


Students & teachers

Solely for students officially enrolled in course or officers or  government employees as part of official duties or employment


No transmission

 (1) Apply technological measures that reasonably prevent recipients from retaining works beyond the class session & further distributing them
(2) No interference with technological protections taken by copyright owner that prevent retention & distribution


Not mentioned

Okay to digitize portion of analog  work in amount authorized under § 110(2) if:
(1) No digital version is available or
(2) Digital version available subject to technological measures that prevent its DE use



Infringement, but not for:
(1)  Automatic transient or temporary storage or
(2)  Loading copies of works that embody § 110(2) authorized performances

Source:  Laura Gasaway, "Teach Act-Amended Section 110(2)"

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