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Faculty & Staff: Copyright and Fair Use: Online (TEACH Act)

A guide to copyright rules and regulations specifically for educators. This guide will walk you through the pitfalls of copyright and help you navigate the rules regarding Fair Use.

What is the TEACH Act?

Computer screen Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act

The Act revises Section 110(2) and 112 of the U.S. Copyright Law, which applies to accredited, nonprofit educational institutions in the U.S, and lays out the guidelines by which they may use copyrighted materials.

The major provisions of the act apply specifically to online and distance education courses.

Criteria for TEACH

To use copyrighted material in your online courses, make sure you meet these requirements:

Person with glasses iconStudent use of copyrighted materials is supervised by the instructor.


Target iconThe materials used must be relevant to the educational goals of the course. 


Group of people iconOnly students enrolled in the course may access copyrighted materials shared by the instructor (this excludes guests and observers).

key iconStudents should not be able to access the copyrighted materials after completing the course. 

document iconStudents may not copy and redistribute the copyrighted material to anyone not enrolled in the course.  The instructor must take reasonable provisions to ensure that this is not possible. 

off limits iconUsers of copyrighted materials including students and faculty should not attempt to interfere with a copyrighted material's built-in copyright protections.