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University of Arizona Library

teaching the TEACH act

Why Do I Want to Know about the TEACH Act?

     The TEACH act can help you connect your students electronically with media (sound, video, etc.) outside of class. For example, rather than putting film clips or recordings on reserve for your students to view or listen to on-site, the TEACH act allows you to make these formats accessible online (with some limitations), allowing your students to view/listen directly from their home/dorm desktop.

TEACH Act Background

TEACH Act Parameters

     There are 4 basic categories of conditions that have to be met for the TEACH act exemptions to apply: Institutional, Technological, Instructional and Categories of Works

1. Institutional
2. Technological

* Though it clearly restricts fair use (among other exemptions), it currently remains illegal to circumvent anti-piracy controls, even if the work is available only in digital form and is protected by anti-piracty software. The Librarian of Congress has indicated when such software may legally be circumvented. Hopefully in the future his list of approved reasons for circumventing this software will be expanded to include the above circumstances.

3. Instructional

What? - The amount of the work displayed must correspond with what might be shown in a classroom setting.


  1. By, at the direction of, or under the actual supervision * of the instructor;
  2. As an integral part of a class session * ;
  3. As part of systematic mediated instructional activities * ; or
  4. Directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content.
4. Categories of Works
  1. Works that were produced primarily for performance or display as part of mediated instructional activities transmited via digital networks may not be used.
  2. Unlawful copies may not be used.


EXCEPTIONS : Where the TEACH Act does not apply, Fair Use may still apply. Check with your local copyright librarian for details.

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