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For Faculty: Copyright means copy right

DISCLAIMER: Material provided is only intended as a guide. This guide is not a substitute for professional legal advice.

What is the TEACH Act?

Works explicitly excluded from TEACH Act protection:

Don't use pirated works, or works you suspect might be violating U.S. Copyright law. Ask a librarian for assistance.  Email us:

TEACH Act "Criteria of Use"

4. (Instructor Responsibility) REQUIEREMENT: Provide "notice to students that materials used in connection with the course may be subject to copyright protection."
Add this statement to course template:  (Or something similar)
"Copyrighted materials on this course site are only for the use of students enrolled in this course and may not be retained or further distributed to others, except when otherwise noted."
5. (Instructor Responsibility) REQUIREMENT: The transmission of content must be made "solely for ...students officially enrolled in the course for which the transmission is made."
Add this statement to course template, and make clear for each instance of use by reading aloud or posting with link:  (Or something similar)
"This performance is copyrighted material permitted for use under the TEACH Act. Viewing is restricted to students enrolled in this course. This material may not be retained or further distributed to others."

YES -- you need public performance rights:

  • If the showing of the video is open to the public, such as a screening at a public event, OR
  • If the showing is in a public space where access is not restricted, such as a a showing of a film for a class but in a venue that is open to anyone to attend, OR
  • If persons attending are outside the normal circle of family and friends, such as a showing of a film by a club or organization.

NO -- you do not need public performance rights:

  • If you are privately viewing the film in your home with only family and friends in attendance, OR
  • If you are an instructor showing the film in class as part of the course curriculum to officially enrolled students in a classroom that is not open to others to attend, OR
  • If the film is in the public domain.
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