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What Does the TEACH Act Say?
TEACH says it is not copyright infringement for teachers and students at an accredited, nonprofit educational institution to transmit performances and displays of copyrighted works as part of a course if certain conditions are met. If these conditions are not or cannot be met, use of the material will have to qualify as a fair use or permission from the copyright holder(s) must be obtained.
Overview of TEACH Act Requirements
The TEACH Act is the result of lengthy conversations and negotiations between representatives of the various stakeholders in the copyright arena. The result is a compromise that no group is entirely happy with and, for many, it is too much trouble to implement. Remember, however, that "TEACH" is really just a shorthand way of referring to the current Section 110(2) of the Copyright Act. Just as you may choose not to rely on fair use, you can also choose not to rely on TEACH. To begin with, TEACH has a rather long list of requirements that require the skill sets and talents of many individuals on campus.
Here are the primary requirements:
• You must be an accredited nonprofit education institution or governmental body;
• You can display any other work in an amount comparable to that typically displayed in a live classroom setting
• The works must be used as part of systematic mediated instructional activities and directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content.
• You may digitize an analog work if no digital version is available to the institution or the digital version is locked to prevent TEACH uses.
Here are the technological requirements that have proven so difficult to meet:
• The transmission (of the performance or display) must be made solely for and reception limited to students enrolled in the course, i.e., access controls.
• You must institute technological measures that reasonably prevent retention in accessible form for longer than a class session (this means prevent printing, saving, downloading, etc.) Also referred to as "downstream controls".
• You must not interfere with technological measures that prevent retention and dissemination put there by the copyright holder .
Here are the general institutional requirements:
• Promulgate copyright policies
• Provide accurate information about copyright
• Promote copyright compliance
• Provide notice to students that course materials may be copyrighted