TEACH Act Responsibilities for Instructors

This section outlines instructor's responsibilities at UW-Superior regarding the TEACH Act. A CHECKLIST for instructors summarizes these responsibilities. Additional resources regarding copyright are included.

Works Explicitly Allowed/Excluded

The TEACH Act permits the display and performance of nearly all types of work. However, a few narrow classes of works remain excluded, and uses of some types of works are subject to quantity limitations.


-A performance of a non-dramatic literary work

-A performance of a non-dramatic musical work

-A performance of any other work, including dramatic works and audiovisual works, but only in "reasonable and limited portions". The amount of the work may be no greater than the amount that can lawfully be used for a traditional course under fair use.

-A display in an amount comparable to that which is typically displayed in the course of a live classroom session.


-Works marketed primarily for performance or display as part of a digitally transmitted mediated instructional activity

-Electronic textbooks, course packs, or other material in any media which is typically purchased or acquired by students for their independent use and retention. This includes materials that an instructor may want students to study, read, listen to or watch on their own time outside of class. Note however, these materials may be used under the guidelines of Fair Use via the Electronic Reserves.

Note: The TEACH Act is not a replacement of Fair Use. Therefore, if a use is not permitted under the TEACH Act, it may be permitted under Fair Use.

Instructor Oversight

The instructor is ultimately in charge of the uses of copyrighted works and the performance and display of copyrighted material(s) is an integral part of his/her class session and are not ancillary materials, used for entertainment of students, or unrelated background material.

Mediated Instructional Activities

The statute directs that performances and displays of the digital transmission of copyrighted material must be in the context of mediated instructional activities. Instructors at the UW-Superior must ensure that the uses of materials must be an integral part of the class experience, controlled or under their actual supervision, and analogous to the type of performance or display that would take place in a live classroom setting.

Mediated instructional activities as specified in the statute do not encompass uses of textbooks and other materials, which are typically, purchased or acquired by the students.

Converting Analog Material to Digital Formats

Is allowable if:

-The amount of the work converted is no greater than the amount that can lawfully be used for a traditional course under fair use. The law prevents an instructor from scanning and uploading chapters from a textbook in lieu of having the students purchase that material for their own use.

-There is no digital version of the work available to the institution or the digital version available to the institution has technological protection that prevents its lawful use for the course.


University of Northern Iowa , http://www.uni.edu/teachact

New Copyright Law for Distance Education: The Meaning and Importance of the TEACH Act; Adapted from American Library Association; Kenneth D. Crews, Professor of Law Director, Copyright Management Center Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis


UW-Superior Faculty Handbook, Chapter 5.2: Copyright Policy

[NAMEONLY:UWSSYTEM]: Ownership, Use and Control of Copyrightable Instruction Materials (The University of Wisconsin System Administration, General Administrative Policy Paper (GAPP) Number 27, November 24, 1997)

UW System: Office of Operations Review and Audit Policies and Procedures Addressing Copyright Infringement Issues (May 2003)

[NAMEONLY:UWSYTEM]: Office of General Counsel, Copyright Law

UW System: Office of General Counsel, Copyright Law FAQ

CHECKLIST FOR INSTRUCTORS: Summarizes requirements for TEACH Act compliance.

___ The performance and/or display of copyrighted material(s) is an integral part of my class.

___ The performance and/or display of copyrighted material(s) is directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content of the transmission.

___ The mediated instructional activity material(s) being performed or displayed would be:

-An integral part of my face-to-face classroom,

-Analogous to my face-to-face classroom use,

-Under my control, and

-Under my actual supervision

___ Any displays and performances of mediated instructional activities are:

-not ancillary materials,

-not used for the entertainment of students, and

-not used as unrelated background material.

___ The mediated instructional activities will not displace:

-a textbook,

-a course pack,


-digital library resources, or

-anyother materials in any media.

___ The materials are of the proper type and amount the law authorizes.

-Entire performances of non-dramatic literary and musical works.

-Reasonable and limited parts of a dramatic literary, musical, or audiovisual works.

-Display of other works, such as images, in amounts similar to typical displays in face-to-face teaching.

___ I checked before digitizing an analog original to be sure:

-I copied only the amount that I am authorized to transmit.(where is the resource for what amount)

-There is no digital copy of the work available except with technological protections that prevent my using it for the class in the way the statute authorizes.

___ I have attempted to...

-Use technology that reasonably limits students' ability to retain or further distribute the materials,

-make the materials available to the students only for a period of time that is relevant to the context of the classroom session, and

-store the materials on a secure server and transmit them only as permitted by this law.