Teaching with Copyrighted Materials
Did You Know...
American University's Center for Social Media has a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education.
They also have some excellent resources about Copyright & Fair Use in Teaching.
The primary exceptions to copyright law used in teaching are:
- Section 110(1): Classroom Performance and Display
This exception is applicable when the instructor and students of a nonprofit educational institution are in a traditional face-to-face classroom or other place devoted to synchronous instruction. In this setting, an instructor may perform or display a work (music, text, images, video), as long as the work was lawfully obtained. For example, an instructor may show a video checked out from the library or rented from Netflix.
- Section 110(2): The TEACH Act
The TEACH Act applies to virtual instruction, when a course is either taught solely online or when parts of a traditional face-to-face course are taught online, such as through Blackboard. The basic premise behind TEACH is to allow comparable instruction online as to that in a traditional classroom. Certain conditions must be met in order to apply TEACH:
- The institution must have policies, provide information and give notice that the materials used may be protected by copryight;
- The performance or display must be part of a mediated instructional activity;
- Made by or at the direction of the instructor;
- Directly related to the course;
- Limited to only the students enrolled in the course; and
- Technological measures must be taken to reasonably prevent students from retaining the materials beyond the class session (for example streaming a portion of a video).
Additionally, there are specific requirements relating to course material under TEACH. The following materials may be transmitted under the TEACH exception:
- Entire performances of nondramatic literary and musical works.
- Performances of limited and reasonable portions of dramatic literary and musical works, audiovisual works, and sound recordings.
- Displays of works but only in an amount comparable to what would be displayed in a live classroom setting. (For example: images such as photographs and slides)
- Materials that can be considered supplementary and would not be used in a live classroom setting (For example: recommended readings)
The following materials may not be transmitted under the TEACH exception:
- Materials that are specifically marketed for educational use. (For example: textbooks)
- Materials that are typically purchased by students for their research and classroom use. (For example: workbooks, textbooks, coursepacks)
- Illegal copies of materials.
The materials must also contain a notice stating that they may be subject to copyright protection.
- Section 107: Fair Use
If your use does not fall within either of the above exceptions, then you should apply the fair use analysis.