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Copyright Decision Tree

Streaming Media for Instruction

The TEACH Act attempts to harmonize the face-to-face exemptions for classroom display and performance for the online classroom through an expanded §110(2). While there are significantly more limitations on digital situations than face-to-face, the TEACH Act does provide some safe harbors that did not previously exist. Section 110(2)'s expanded rights include:

  1. Transmitting performances of all of a non-dramatic literary or musical work: Non-dramatic literary works as defined in the Act exclude audiovisual works; examples of permitted performances in this category in which entire works may be displayed and performed might include a poetry or short story reading. Non-dramatic musical works would include all music other than opera, music videos (because they are audiovisual), and musicals.
  2. Transmitting reasonable and limited portions of any other performance:This category includes all audiovisual works such as films and videos of all types, and any dramatic musical works excluded above. Note the emphasis on reasonable and limited portions.
  3. Transmitting displays of any work in amounts comparable to typical face-to-face displays: This category would include still images of all kinds.

If you are considering digitizing and making media for classroom instruction available through BlackBoard and/or OneDrive, it is important to familiarize yourself with the TEACH Act. There are several excellent guides available from other institutions online:

Other Considerations beyond TEACH

The TEACH Act has extensive requirements for implementation. It is worth remembering that exceptions such as TEACH do not diminish or eliminate rights granted by other exceptions, such as Fair Use. And as a member of the USI community, you have access to quite a bit of streaming media through out library subscriptions. If you have concerns about meeting the requirements or limitations of TEACH, you might look to alternatives in those options.