Skip to main content

Copyright at Kettering University

Guide to copyright and what is means for Kettering University students, faculty and staff.

What is the TEACH Act?

On November 2, 2002, the "Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act" (TEACH Act), was signed into law by President Bush. This Act revised the law governing the conditions under which accredited, nonprofit educational institutions in the U.S. may use copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright owner and without payment of royalties (TEACH Act Best Practices, 2012). 

The law allows more opportunities for educational institutions to use copyrighted materials in teaching and learning. The TEACH Act can be particularly useful in online learning, and provides access to some materials for students which previously, due to copyright, could not be shared online. In-person instruction has also received the ability to use a wider range of materials during instruction. 


©1996-2019, American Library AssociationAdmin. (2012, January 10). TEACH Act Best Practices using Blackboard™.  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://web.archive.org/web/20180713061234/http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright/teachact/teachactbest

What is Permitted under the Teach Act

In summary, if instructors and/or institutions wish to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the TEACH Act for using copyrighted materials, they must reasonably:

  • Limit access to copyrighted works to students currently enrolled in the class;
  • Limit access only for the time needed to complete the class session or course;
  • Inform instructors, students, and staff of copyright laws and policies;
  • Prevent further copying or redistribution of copyrighted works; and
  • Not interfere with copy protection mechanisms

(TEACH Act Best Practices, 2012)


©1996-2019, American Library Association Admin. (2012, January 10). TEACH Act Best Practices using Blackboard™.  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://web.archive.org/web/20180713061234/http://www.ala.org/advocacy/copyright/teachact/teachactbest

What is not permitted under the TEACH Act

Teach Act exemptions do not apply to:

  • Electronic reserves
  • Course-packs (electronic or paper)
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
  • Commercial document delivery
  • Textbooks or other digital content provided under license from the author, publisher, aggregator or other entity
  • Conversion of materials from analog to digital formats, except when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures

It is also important to note that the TEACH Act does not supersede fair use. Library digital license agreements remain in effect.

Ultimately, it is up to each academic institution to decide whether to take advantage of the new copyright exemptions under the TEACH Act. This decision should consider both the extent of the institution’s distance education programs and its ability to meet the education, compliance and technological requirements of the TEACH Act.


© 2011,Copyright Clearance Center The TEACH Act. (2011). Copyright Clearance Center,1-2.  Retrieved June 21, 2019, from https://www.copyright.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/CR-Teach-Act.pdf.

Library Homepage

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter