Copyright Guidelines and Resources


Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act

The following information concerning the TEACH Act is for informational purposes only. The University of Louisville does not currently meet all of the provisions necessary for applying the exclusions outlined in the TEACH Act to its distance and online learning programs.

What is the TEACH Act?

In November of 2002, the Copyright Act of 1976 was amended to include specific exemptions to liability for the educational use of copyrighted works in distance education. The TEACH Act provides for the transmission of:

  • Entire versions of non-dramatic literary or musical works;
  • Limited or reasonable portions of all other works; or
  • A work in an amount comparable to live classroom (face-to-face) session.

Restrictions in the use of the TEACH Act:

There are many requirements for the use of a copyrighted work to fall under the protection of the TEACH Act. These include the stipulation that the instructor must not know or have reason to believe that the material to be transmitted has been made or acquired by any illegal means. Also, the transmission may not contain material that was marketed or designed for in-class use.

The use of the copyrighted material must also be limited to transmissions receivable only by students enrolled in the course. Reasonable restrictions on the student’s ability to access the work must be in place. These restrictions must prevent the work from being downloaded or altered by students.

A copy of the TEACH Act may be found in Section 110 of the U.S. Copyright Law.

Who receives these exemptions?

The TEACH Act extends the stated exemptions only to accredited nonprofit educational institutions that: 1) Have established policies regarding copyright; 2) Provide informational materials to faculty, students, and relevant staff members that define and promote compliance with US copyright law; and 3) Provide notice to students that materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection.

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