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This guide is informational and in no way constitutes legal advice.


The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act or TEACH Act (passed by Congress in 2002) was meant to address issues attendant to distance education, but fair use remains the standard since the TEACH Act has rigorous requirements which very few institutions have deemed feasible to implement. In order for the TEACH Act to protect your use in the online environment, the institution:

  • must be accredited.
  • must have policies in place and made accessible. 
  • must provide informative materials and ongoing training.
  • must promote copyright compliance.
  • must provide copyright notice for students.
  • must implement measures (DRM technology) which reasonably restrict retention, duplication, and dissemination.

Furthermore the TEACH Act does not extend to:

  • "textbooks, coursepacks and other materials typically purchased by students individually"
  • "materials an instructor may want students to study, read, listen to or watch on their own time outside of class"


More information on the TEACH Act:

Example of a TEACH Act Checklist

University of Texas Copyright Crash Course: TEACH ACT