As mentioned in the last post, this post will take a look at the TEACH Act, which is an extension of fair use in an educational setting. However, before further examining the Act, it is important to note that the Act is an extension of the Fair Use Classroom Guidelines.

The Classroom Guidelines were set forth in §107 of The Copyright Act of Oct. 19, 1976 and set the minimum standards of fair use for reproducing copyrighted material in non-profit educational institutions. These guidelines allow educators to copy certain portions and amounts of work for in-class use as an educational tool. Yet, as thorough as these guidelines were for in-class use, they did not account for online learning, which was not yet created. On Nov. 2, 2002, President Bush signed the TEACH Act into law. TEACH stands for Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization, and furthers the Classroom Guidelines into online-learning environments.

Although the TEACH Act provides more freedom when using copyrighted work, there are still requirements that must be met in order for an educational institution to qualify for the exemptions provided under the Act. The main requirements are as follows: (1) The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution. (2) Use of the copyrighted work must be for supervised educational activities. (3) The use must be limited to a set number of students enrolled in a specific course. (4) The use must be for real-time classes or pre-recorded sessions. (5) The use cannot include the transmission of textbook materials, which means one textbook cannot be bought and then copied for distribution. As an aside, the purpose of allowing digitization of work is not to harm the sale of copyrighted work, as that would be in violation of the Doctrine of Fair Use. (6) The institution must have clear and publicized copyright policies, which are to inform students that the work may be copyright, and all copyrighted online work must have a notice of copyright. (7) The institution must implement technological measures to ensure compliance with the policies above, and the measures must go further than password protection. Some measures may include user and location authentication through IP verification, print-disabling and cut-and-paste blocking. See 107th Congress H.R. 2100 Sect. 487

While the TEACH Act creates certain leniencies, its purpose is to allow remote students to have the same educational resources as in-person students. The Act does not supersede the Doctrine of Fair Use or any pre-existing digital licensing agreements.

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