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City College TEACH Act

What is it?

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act is a provision of US Copyright law that regulates the use of copyrighted materials in distance education courses.


The main benefits of the TEACH Act as outlined by the American Library Association (ALA) are that “accredited, nonprofit educational institutions throughout the U.S. may use copyright protected materials in distance education–including on websites and by other digital means–without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties” (2012, Introduction Para.1).

TEACH Act Requirements

Although the TEACH Act provides more flexibility regarding usage of media materials in distance education courses, it also is accompanied by enhanced requirements in its implementation as outlined below:

  • Applies only to a "government body or an accredited nonprofit educational institution."
  • The material is part of a specific online course taught by LOYNO faculty and/or staff as part of degree or certificate programs.
  • The educational institution must "institute policies regarding copyright." 
  • Educational materials are available to faculty and students regarding copyright and copyright infringement.
  • Materials in courses have not been produced by a digital education publisher.
  • All digital material has been lawfully made and acquired.
  • Material is limited to students enrolled in a course.
  • Reasonable copyright control instituted. (ie. materials available during the course sessions. Students are not asked to download copyrighted material.)
  • The digital materials is deemed essential to the class session by the instructor of the course.
  • The digital materials should be directly relevant to the course.
  • Copyright notice can be easily located on the material used in courses in accordance with the TEACH Act.
  • Instructor uses reasonable and limited portions of copyrighted work.