The TEACH Act – Instructional Scenarios

The best way to grapple with applying the TEACH Act's exemptions to online teaching is to think about specific instructional scenarios.

Remember: the TEACH Act simply facilitates some uses of copyrighted materials for instructional purposes without the need for permission or license. If you already have permission or a license to use any material, you don't need the TEACH Act.

The interpretations given on this page are suggestions based on a reasonable reading of §110(2) and related sections relevant to the TEACH Act. They are presented for informational purposes and should not be construed as a substitute for proper legal advice.

Audio examples

» Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony

» The complete Beatles, scenario 1

» The complete Beatles, scenario 2

Articles & Readings examples

» JSTOR and other library databases

» Creating a compilation

» Reading for a specific assignment

Image examples

» Using for lecture or assignment

» Using a chart in lecture

Video examples

» Streaming a complete documentary

» Creating clips from a DVD

» Digitizing clips from VHS tape

» Creating clips from a rented DVD

» Embeding YouTube (or other online video) clips

» Showing a complete performance of Shakespeare play

Summary of Uses & Exemptions

The following table presents a basic grid of content types and the exempted uses that are possible under the TEACH Act.

Content type Exemption Usage in theory... In reality
Unlicensed article PDF Display Amount comparable to F2F session None
Still image or chart Display Amount comparable to F2F session Complete content is ok
Musical recording Performance Complete work Complete works are ok
Audiovisual or dramatic work Performance Reasonable and limited portion Clips only; no complete works

Remember: the TEACH Act does not preclude using content under Fair Use.