Copyright law is designed both to protect creators and owners of works as well as encourage the pursuit of knowledge and creation of new works. In certain situations, U.S.Copyright Act provisions allow educators and libraries to use materials that are copyright protected without requesting permission from the copyright holder.
The Teach Act:
The TEACH Act allows educators to display copyrighted materials when teaching an online course. There are many requirements that must be adhered to in order to implement the TEACH act in an online course environment.
Use of materials must be limited to performance or display, and not related to independent student activity, considered analogous to in class teaching
The classroom exemption is intended to encourage the sharing, creation, and dissemination of information in an educational setting.
You may display a work or perform a work in class without obtaining permission so long as the use is for instructional purposes in a face to face environment. A fair use analysis should be conducted when using materials for an online environment. This applies to the showing of a film, movie, or television show, display of images, charts, and graphs in a presentation, and the playing or performing of music.
Following a positive fair use analysis, photocopies for classroom use and distribution to students should be limited to a single course for a single semester. Only one copy should be distributed to each student, which then becomes their property. Copies should always include a copyright notice on the first page.
Fair use, the TEACH act, and the classroom exemption are provisions to assist educators in being able to access and share quality information throughout their curriculum. One commonality among these exceptions and provisions is that all involve sharing copyrighted resources with other individuals for specific purposes.
What to Do Instead: