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Open Educational Resources (OER): Dive Deep

What is the TEACH Act?


The TEACH Act stands for the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002. The purpose of the TEACH Act is to provide online classes a way to perform or display copyrighted materials. However, there are very strict requirements to invoke the TEACH Act for copyrighted materials.

What is not covered under the TEACH Act?

  • Anything that's produced and sold for performance or display as part of a digitally transmitted mediated instructional activity. This you have to buy or license. This includes videos that were created as instructional materials and are available for purchase in a streaming format.
  • Illegally acquired copies of materials. For example, you cannot go to a movie theatre and digitally film a movie to show in your online class.

What is covered under the TEACH Act providing that other conditions are met?

  • Complete performances of non-dramatic literary and musical works
  • Limited portions of other works

What sort of other conditions are required?

  • The work must be an integral part of the class session and relates to the content being taught
  • Must be analogous to what you would use in a face-to-face class
  • Materials cannot be used for entertainment purposes
  • Materials cannot replace a textbook
  • Must be used within the learning management system (LMS) so that only students enrolled in the class has access
  • Has to be provided in a format that prevents downloading and saving by students for future viewing
  • You need to provide a statement to students that the work is copyrighted

Adapted from ALA's TEACH Act Summary of the Report on Copyright and Digital Distance Education This link opens in a new window.

TEACH Act Resources