US Copyright Law provides several exemptions for the academic use of copyrighted materials. If the requirements for an exemption are met, it is not necessary to seek permission before using the copyrighted material for the purpose outlined in the exemption.

Section 110(2) and Section 112 in Title 17 of the United States Code was expanded by Congress in 2002 by the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act. The TEACH Act addresses the needs presented by distance education and the performance or display of works in an online environment. The term “distance education” is applied loosely; any activities conducted via online course management systems (such as Blackboard), whether they are synchronous or asynchronous, are covered under the TEACH Act.

The TEACH Act contains very specific guidelines regarding what requirements must be met and what materials are eligible to be used. If a faculty member cannot meet these requirements, the TEACH Act should not be used as a justification for the use of copyrighted materials without permission. In that case the faculty member may, as appropriate, decide that Fair Use applies to his/her use of the materials – or they may seek permission from the copyright holder.

TEACH Requirements for Faculty:

TEACH allows:

TEACH does not allow:

TEACH Act benefits:


For additional information on the TEACH Act, please contact Pacific University’s Copyright Help Desk or visit:

NCSU Teach Act Toolkit

U.S. Senate Report on the TEACH Act