Skip to Main Content
Banner Image

Copyright for Education Students: TEACH Act

TEACH Act Requirements

In order for the use of copyrighted materials in distance education to qualify for the TEACH Act exemptions, the following criteria must be met:

  • The institution must be an accredited, non-profit educational institution
  • The use must be part of mediated instructional activities
  • The use must be limited to a specific number of students enrolled in a specific class
  • The use must either be for 'live' or asynchronous class sessions

Source: Copyright Clearance Center. (2011). The TEACH Act. Retrieved from


The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act was signed into federal law in 2002. Its primary purpose is to balance the needs of distance learners and educators with the rights of copyright holders. The TEACH Act applies to distance education that includes the participation of any enrolled student, on or off campus. The law grants additional opportunities for the use of copyrighted materials for distance education including:

  • Instructors may use a wider range of works in distance learning environments.
  • Students may participate in distance learning sessions from virtually any location.
  • Participants enjoy greater latitude when it comes to storing, copying, and digitizing materials.

What the TEACH Act does not allow:

  • Electronic reserves, coursepacks (electronic or paper), or interlibrary loan (ILL)
  • Commercial document delivery
  • Textbooks or other digital content provided under license from the author, publisher, aggregator, or other entity
  • Conversion of materials from analog to digital formats, except when the converted material is used solely for authorized transmissions and when a digital version of a work is unavailable or protected by technological measures

Source: Copyright Clearance Center. (2011). The TEACH Act. Retrieved from



Click this link to read Frequently Asked Questions on the TEACH Act answered by the American Library Association!


© 2023 Mount St. Mary's University - Phillips Library
Library Home | Library Admin | Alma | Worldshare Admin | Mobile Site