Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Copyright Tips

A self-service guide to analyzing copyright questions

What is the TEACH Act?

The Technology Education & Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act enables educators to use copyrighted materials for distance education, with restrictions. 

The TEACH Act states 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.

The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.

an emoji-style illustration of a female teacher in front of a chalkboard

TEACH Act Requirements

The main requirements of the TEACH Act are: 

•  You must be an accredited nonprofit education institution or governmental body;

•  You can perform a nondramatic literary work, a nondramatic musical work, or reasonable portions of any other work;  

•  You can display any other work in an amount comparable to that typically displayed in a live classroom setting but the material must be available to students only for the period of time that is relevant to the context of the course and the use of the copyrighted material must be technologically limited to only students enrolled in the class. The institution must implement some technological measures to ensure compliance with these policies, beyond merely assigning a password. Ensuring compliance through technological means may include user and location authentication through Internet Protocol (IP) checking, content timeouts, print-disabling, cut and paste disabling, etc.

•  You cannot (under TEACH) use works produced or marketed primarily for performance/display as part of instructional activities transmitted via digital networks (online textbooks, online courses, etc.) or unlawfully made copies. 

•  The works used must be under the actual supervision of an instructor as part of a class session.

•  The works must be an integral part of the class activities and directly relate to the class 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.

an emoji-style illustration of a desktop computer

Accessibility Statement
The University provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities upon request. Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for a workshop should contact UMA Libraries at uma.library@maine.edu to submit a request. Due to the lead-time needed to arrange certain accommodations, individuals should submit their request no later 1 week before the event.