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Home > Using Copyright > Obtaining Rights > Teaching Use

Teaching Use

Some works may be used without permission:

  • For display or performance
  • In the classroom
  • In distance learning when transmitted only to enrolled students

Copyright law recognizes the need for instructors and students to be able to use copyrighted works in the course of teaching activities. Like fair use, this is a provision that limits the exclusive rights of the copyright owner and allows for certain uses of copyrighted works without permission of the copyright owner.

Distance Teaching: See the TEACH Act section

Web-Based or TV
If the teaching activity is to be web-based or televised, the use of copyrighted materials must be in accordance with the TEACH Act of 2002.

Educational Institutions
While the provisions for performance and display of materials are still very broad, educators are only able to claim teaching use if they work for an accredited nonprofit educational institution that meets the TEACH Act requirements.

Employees of for-profit organizations or instructors at institutions that have not established copyright policies may not have protection when using copyrighted materials in distance education.

Not Covered by TEACH Act
Copying, adapting or distributing copies of a work in the course of teaching are not covered by this provision. If your intended use falls outside the situations addressed by this provision, you may want to consider if fair use applies to your situation, and if not, seek permission.


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