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Copyright and Fair Use

Teach Act

This policy was developed to address the requirements of the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act), signed into law November 2, 2002.

What is TEACH?

TEACH is part of the larger Justice Reauthorization legislation (H.R. 2215) that updates copyright law to broaden instructors' legal use of copyrighted materials in online instruction at accredited nonprofit educational institutions. 


1.  The TEACH Act permits:

  • Performances of nondramatic literary works;

  • Performances of nondramatic musical works;

  • Performances of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in "reasonable and limited portions"; and

  • Displays of work "in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session."

2.  The following works are excluded by the TEACH Act:

  • Works that are marketed "primarily for performance or display as part of the mediated instructional activities transmitted via digital networks"; and

  • Performances or displays given by means of copies "not lawfully made and acquired" under the U.S. Copyright Act, if the educational institution "knew or had reason to believe" that they were not lawfully made and acquired.

  • Work originally produced in analog format cannot be digitized under the following circumstances:

    • The amount converted is limited to the amount appropriate for the instructional activities [consistent with Section 111(2)]; and

    • A digital version of the work is not "available to the institution," or is secured behind technological protection preventing accessibility in the distance-education program [consistent with Section 111(2)]

3.  Materials may be used under the following conditions:

  • The work or performance used is "at the direction of, or under the actual supervision of an instructor."  
  • The work or performance used is "an integral part of a class session offered as a regular part of the systematic, mediated instructional activities" of the university.


  • Faculty will follow the TEACH Act guidelines for the use of copyrighted work included in their online, web-enhanced, or hybrid web based course sites.  
  • Course syllabi must include the following statement: "The materials found in this course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Works that do not meet the above conditions must qualify as "Fair Use" or permission must be granted from the copyright holder(s).  
  • Framingham State College technology officials will maintain online course materials on a secure server and require students to authenticate using Framingham State College usernames and passwords to access their course websites.

TEACH Act Resource Links

Summary of the TEACH Act of 2002

Teach Act Guidelines

Basic TEACH Checklist

Full Text of the TEACH Act (Legal Information Institute)