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Copyright at Kettering University

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

TEACH Act for In-Person Instruction

US copyright law allows instructors and students to make certain uses of copyrighted works in face-to-face teaching.

As an instructor or student, you are allowed to perform or display a copyrighted work without permission in “a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction” during face-to-face teaching at a nonprofit educational institution, so long as it follows the rules set forth by the TEACH Act. 

If the copyrighted material does NOT fulfill the requirements of the TEACH Act, an instructor must gain permission from the copyright owner before sharing the material, or the material must constitute "Fair Use". 

If the work is a motion picture or other audiovisual work, you must use a copy of the work that was lawfully made.

This is codified at 17 U.S.C. § 110(1), (Copyright Basics, 2018).

©2018, Regents of the University of Michigan  Copyright Basics: Duration & Formalities. (n.d.).  Retrieved June 17, 2019, from

In-Person Instruction at Kettering

Under the TEACH Act, the following are examples of materials permitted to be used in the classroom at Kettering University without obtaining copyright permission:

  • Any work that is part of the public domain, including works which were previously copyrighted, but that copyright has expired for
  • Facts
  • Photographs which are exact replicas from the public domain
  • Any work produced by the United States government, unless that work was sub-contracted by a different company
  • Works covered under a license which permits classroom usage (Note:Most library databases are covered by licenses. If you are uncertain if coverage exists, please reach out to a Kettering University Librarian)
  • Journal articles that explicitly allow for non-profit educational use without permission (check the copyright page of the journal for verification)
  • Works made available through a digital commons or institutional repository
  • Any other work that meets fair use criteria

(What Faculty Need to Know, 2010)

©Copyright 2019 American University A. (2010). What Faculty Need to Know About Copyright for Teaching. 7.  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from

Kettering Policy on In-Person Instruction

One should seek permission from the copyright holder prior to the use of a copyrighted work.
However, the law allows the qualified use of copyrighted works in face-to-face instruction,
scholarship, or research under the doctrine of ―fair use.‖ The statutory basis for fair use is found in
17 U.S.C. 107. The following quotation from the statute must be kept in mind:

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors
to be considered shall include:


  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  • the nature of the copyrighted work;
  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is
made upon consideration of all the above factors.‖

The first factor favors fair use of another's work at Kettering University as a necessary part of face-
to-face instruction. However, a use that impacts the other three factors could negate fair use. Faculty 
have a specific duty to avoid the use of considerable portions of the work of another. Faculty must
not make such extensive use of such a work that it diminishes the work's market value.

When a contemplated use of another's work appears adverse to the last three factors, faculty members must
seek permission from the copyright holder for that use. All uses of the works of others must be cited (Final Text-Copyright Policy, 2011). 

Final Text: Copyright Policy of Kettering University. (Rep.). (2011).  Approved by the Executive Committee of the Kettering University Board of Trustees.

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