What is the TEACH Act?
The "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" was signed into law in 2002 as an amendment to the Copyright Act. It was an attempt to incorporate the educational exemptions given to instructors for face-to-face classroom use into online classes.

Section 110(1) of the Copyright Act (often referred to as the Education Exemption) allows educators to perform or display works (e.g. videos or slides) without needing to worry about copyright. However, this is only during face-to-face classes. As online classes became ever more prevalent, the need to extend those rights to the online world grew more crucial. After several years of meetings between copyright owner representatives, educational representatives and library representatives, a number of recommendations were put into a report to Congress from the Copyright Office. These were used as a basis for the TEACH Act.

The TEACH Act is now Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act and some -- but not all -- of the exemptions offered in 110(1). The act deals with "transmission" of works, not specifically online classes.

Subject Specialist
Picture: Karen Kunz

Karen Kunz
Librarian (Engineering, Copyright, Grants)
Tel: 541-885-1769

Educational Use and Teach Act
Copyright in Online Teaching and Learning
Institutional Responsibilities
  • Be an accredited  nonprofit educational institution
  • Have a policy on the use of copyrighted materials
  • Provide accurate information to faculty, students, and staff about copyright and promote compliance with copyright laws
Instructor Responsibilities
  • Use only lawfully made and acquired copies
  • Use only material that is a nondramatic literary work, OR
  • Use only reasonable and limited portions of dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual works -- in an amount comparable with a typical live classroom session
  • Provide these materials at the your direction or supervision
  • Use the material as a regular part of systematic, mediated, instuctional activities
  • Make certain that the materials are directly related and of material assistance to teaching the class
  • Confirm that only students in the class can access the material and that the class is a part of regular institutional offerings
  • Provide a notice that the materials are protected by copyright 
  • Ensure that the materials will be available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of the class session
  • Ascertain that the materials are not among those the law specifically excludes form coverage
    • e.g. Materials specifically marketed for classroom use for digital distance education, illegal copies, textbooks, etc.
IT Responsibilities
  • Apply technological measures that reasonably prevent retention of the work for longer than the class session
  • Apply technological measures that resonably prevent unauthorized further dissemination of the work by recipients
  • Do not engage in conduct that would interfere with measures taked by copyright owners to prevent retention or unauthorized further dissemnation (DMCA)
Last updated 5/21/2018