The TEACH Act is a copyright exemption that covers teaching conducted through digital transmission; it addresses performance and display of copyrighted materials used in teaching. Even if your class has on ground, face to face sessions, anything you transmit through course delivery systems, such as Canvas, would fall under the TEACH Act, unless you choose to use Fair Use as an alternative. The TEACH Act is not a wild card exemption to do anything you want; it comes with limitations.
Teachers have more privileges in face-to-face teaching situations for the use of copyrighted materials than teachers in online instruction. The TEACH Act attempts to bring the two environments closer together, but the playing fields are still not level.
The TEACH Act does not cover the use of textual materials such as readings.
Provisions of the Act
The Act allows teachers to show the full performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work or display the following types of materials (partial list):
Teachers may only display "reasonable and limited portions" of dramatic works. Use only the portions that are necessary to make a point. (Teachers in face to face classrooms may use the following works in their entirety). The following are examples:
Teachers may not transmit or display instructional materials, without permission or licensing, which students are commonly expected to purchase such as:
Works "produced or marketed primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks" should not be copied, but purchased and used as intended by the publisher.
Obligations of the teacher under the TEACH Act:
Must I use the TEACH Act when I teach online?
No, you can choose to teach under the TEACH Act which carries more requirements or use Fair Use which carries more risk.
Can I digitize an analog video (i.e. VHS) to show it to my distance education class?
Yes, in an amount limited to what is necessary for the class, if:
Can I reuse my materials later in the semester for the same class?
Yes, you can reshow or redisplay the content to support your curriculum later in the semester, even if you used it earlier.
Can I reuse my teaching materials in subsequent semesters in my online class?
If materials are integral to the course content and are used in performance or display, the materials may be reused without permission. Copies of these items must be made from a legally acquired copy of the work. Supplementary or ancillary materials and readings require permission or royalty payments.
Can I show a YouTube video to my distance education class?
The best way to handle a YouTube video is to link to it. Using YouTube's embedded code for linking is ok also; it's just code and YouTube makes it available for users to embed. However, it is advisable not to show a YouTube video that contains infringing material.
Does the Teach Act apply just to credit courses at Rockhurst?
No, it can be used with non-credit courses also.
How Do I Use "reasonable controls" to protect images and performances shown in Canvas?
The best way to transmit film media in Canvas in order to be in compliance with the TEACH Act, is with the use of streaming. For more information about how to stream videos, contact Computer Services (x4357)
Other suggested methods for protecting copyrighted images or photos include the use of low resolution images, thumbnails, digital watermarks, disabling the right click copy function, overlaying the image with a transparent GIF, using the image as a background in a table or using digital rights management. For details see "Tips and Techniques to Protect Images on the Internet."
When considering the use of media in online teaching, technological protection measures or digital rights management may come into play. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act carries strict prohibitions against overriding TPMs and DRM.