Skip to Main Content

Copyright Center

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-273 p. 154-157) clarifies what uses are permitted with regard to distance education and outlines what requirements IT staff and students of a university must abide by in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act. 

The Act permits teachers and students of accredited, non-profit educational institutions to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works as part of a course if certain conditions are met.

The easiest way to determine if a work can be used in an online class or as part of a distance education program is to consult a TEACH Act Checklist for every individual work.

Four Factor Test vs TEACH Act Checklist
The test used to determine if a use is fair involves evaluating a use by the four factors indicated in Section 107 of copyright law. It is not a checklist; it is a balance. The four factors must be weighed against each other. These are the four factors that a judge would use to determine the outcome of a legal case.

The TEACH Act Checklist is a checklist where every item must be checked to be in compliance. If a use cannot comply with the TEACH Act Checklist, fair use may still be an option.

Copyright Notice

The TEACH Act does not contain language that requires a copyright notice, but standard language should be appropriate:

"The materials provided on this course website are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained for further disseminated."