The Classroom Use exception, defined in section 110(1) of copyright law, specifically permits the performance or display of copyrighted works during face-to-face instruction. There are a few qualifiers:
It is important to note that the Classroom Use exception does not allow for the reproduction, preparation of derivatives, or the distribution of materials. These exclusive rights remain with the creator or copyright holder.
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) of 2002 amended section 110(2) of copyright law to clarify the conditions under which copyrighted materials could be transmitted in an on-line or distance education environment. Although fairly restrictive, the TEACH Act is really the first step towards accommodating the needs of distance education participants.
Below is the shortened list of requirements that must be met in order to qualify for protection under the TEACH Act:
|ISSUE||§ 110(1) CLASSROOM EXEMPTION||§ 110(2) TEACH ACT|
|ELIGIBILITY||Nonprofit educational institutions||Accredited nonprofit educational institutions & government bodies|
|ACTIVITY||Face-to-face teaching||Transmissions & over digital networks|
|WORKS COVERED||Limited to performance of nondramatic literary & musical works but display of all works||Performance of nondramatic literary & musical works, reasonable & limited portions of other works – except works produced of marketed primarily for display as part of mediated instructional activity via digital network|
|LIMITATIONS||For instruction, not entertainment||Display of any work in amount comparable to that typically displayed in live classroom.
Performance of reasonable & limited portions of all except nondramatic literary & musical works (full for these)
|None||(1) Systematic mediated instructional activity
(2) At direction of or under actual supervision of instructor
(3) Integral part of class session
|COPY RESTRICTIONS||For audiovisual works, copy must have been lawfully made||For all works, copy must have been lawfully made|
|WHERE||In a “classroom”||Anywhere but with technological conditions met|
|WHO||Students & teachers||Solely for students officially enrolled in course or officers or government employees as part of official duties or employment|
|TECHNOLOGICAL RESTRICTIONS||No transmission||(1) Apply technological measures that reasonably prevent recipients from retaining works beyond the class session & further distributing them
(2) No interference with technological protections taken by copyright owner that prevent retention & distribution
|DIGITIZING WORKS||Not mentioned||Okay to digitize portion of analog work in amount authorized under § 110(2) if:
(1) No digital version is available or
(2) Digital version available subject to technological measures that prevent its distance education use
|LIABILITY||Infringement||Infringement, but not for:
(1) Automatic transient or temporary storage or
(2) Loading copies of works that embody § 110(2) authorized performances
Source: Created by Laura Gasaway at UNC Chapel Hill. Original chart located here.
Here is a set of best practices, developed by the University of Colorado system, to help guide you when using copyrighted materials in an on-line classroom environment:
Use Only What is Necessary
Keep Students Informed