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Home > Copyright Law > TEACH Act

The TEACH Act

The Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was signed into law in October 2002 and took effect immediately.

What is the TEACH Act?
The TEACH Act revises the section of the U.S. Copyright Act that governs the use of copyrighted material for the purpose of education. Specifically it both modifies and clarifies the ways in which copyrighted material may be used in distance education by an "accredited nonprofit educational institution," without permission of the copyright owner. By meeting the requirements of the law (to use works appropriately), educators can avoid copyright infringement and the payment of royalties to the owner of copyrighted works.

How does the TEACH Act modify previous copyright law?
The TEACH Act extends earlier permissions granted to educators, but also specifies new requirements for how far educational institutions must go in preventing copyright infringement. Educators are only protected under the TEACH Act if they work for an accredited institution and that institution is in compliance with the new requirements. In essence the greater freedoms granted to instructors are balanced with greater responsibility for oversight or management of distance education at the institutional level.

 

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