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Faculty Resources: The TEACH Act


Signed by President Bush on November 2, 2002, the Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act is the product of discussion and negotiation among academic institutions, publishers, library organizations and Congress.

Its main purpose was to redefine to copyright law to allow for the needs of distance learning classrooms.

Under the TEACH Act:

  • Instructors may use a wider range of works in distance learning environments.
  • Students may participate in distance learning sessions from virtually any location.
  • Participants enjoy greater latitude when it comes to storing, copying and digitizing materials.

What are the Requirements? 

  • Like Iona College, the institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution. 
  • Use of the materials must be limited to 'live' distance learning courses or asynchronous sessions in a learning management system where only enrolled students can access the materials. 
  • The works that fall under the requirements of the TEACH Act cannot be textbook material (see: Fair Use) or specifically developed for online courses. 
  • The institution must have posted their copyright policies. 


More on the TEACH Act

Acceptable under TEACH Act Unacceptable under TEACH Act
Uploading a copy of a book chapter or article to Blackboard for the duration of the course only Students cannot download, retain or print the material
Linking to a legally obtained streaming film over Blackboard for the duration of the course only The material has to be legally obtained by the instructor
Showing a "reasonable and limited portion" of an audiovisual performance over Zoom to DL students The material cannot be a textbook, workbook or standardized test
Displaying material from a dramatic or literary work such as a film or play if the amount if comparable to what would be covered in a single live classroom session If a digital copy of the work is available, the analog copy cannot be digitized and shared over Blackboard