Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Copyright: TEACH Act

This guide is intended to provide information about copyright and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have legal questions concerning copyright, please consult appropriate legal counsel.

What is the TEACH Act?

The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization Act (TEACH Act) was signed into law on November 2, 2002.  This act allows for the display of copyrighted materials within an online, distance education program.

Source: 17 U.S.C. §110(2)

TEACH Act tools

TEACH Act Requirements

In order to use the TEACH Act exemptions, the following conditions must be met:

  • The distance education program must be from an accredited, non-profit educational institution
  • The use must be part of an instructor mediated learning activity
  • The use must be limited to only the students enrolled in that specific class
  • The use must occur either during synchronous or asynchronous class time
  • The use cannot include the transmission of the course textbook or any other material that students would normally be required to purchase.  It also cannot include material that was developed specifically for online education
  • Whole works cannot be used, only reasonable and limited portions
  • There must be technological measures implemented to prevent extended access to the material, as well as unauthorized access or copying.

Source: 17 U.S.C. §110(2)

Michigan State University