Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy
The TEACH Act
The Technology, Education, and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act provides copyright guidelines to accredited, not-for-profit educational institutions on the performance or display of copyrighted works. Key provisions of this Act are intended to protect the intellectual property rights of copyright owners and free educational institutions from liability when copyrighted course materials are delivered, transmitted, or broadcasted digitally. Any act to deliver, transmit, or broadcast copyrighted materials is considered copyright infringement. Educational institutions must adhere to provisions of the TEACH Act to use copyrighted materials lawfully, particularly when offering courses in online, blended, and web-enhanced formats. The primary responsibilities of educational institutions transmitting copyrighted works are as follows:
- Ensure that the performance or display is:
- A regular part of a systematic mediated instructional activity;
- Made or displayed by, at the direction of, or under the supervision of the instructor;
- Technologically limited to employees as part of their official duties or employment;
- For and technologically limited to students currently enrolled in the course;
- Directly related and of material assistance to the teaching content; and
- Is free of charge to recipients.
- Apply technological measures that reasonably prevent recipients of the works from retaining the works beyond the class session and further distributing them.
- Avoid interference with technological measures taken by copyright owners to prevent the retention and distribution of their works.
- Develop and publicize copyright policies, specifically informing students that the course material may be protected by copyright, and include a notice of copyright on the copyrighted material.
- Ensure that copies of performances or displays of work are lawfully made and acquired.
- Take measures to prevent the transmission of textbook materials, materials “typically purchased or acquired by students,” or works developed specifically for online uses.
- Ensure permission is granted to use works that are:
- Already available in digital format through alternative sources.
- Over the limits permitted by fair use laws.
- Part of a digital educational work marketed specifically for online education.
- Not a part of a mediated instructional activity.
Limiting Access to Electronic Materials Performed or Displayed
The following guidelines must be followed to restrict access to copyrighted electronic materials housed within software maintained by the University.
- Authentication: The University must use secure authentication software to limit access to copyrighted materials used within its courses. Copyrighted materials accessed via the University’s learning management system must meet this TEACH Act requirement. Use of copyrighted materials that do not comply with the TEACH Act is permitted if:
- Written permission is granted by the copyright holder or
- The University has procured a license that permits use of the work
- Time Limits: Access to electronic course materials must be restricted to the prescribed time period for the course. The University must terminate student access to copyrighted electronic materials at the conclusion of the course unless the University has granted a provision for students to satisfy course requirements after the course has ended. Access to copyrighted electronic materials must be restricted to students satisfying the requirements of the course when the normal time period for the course has concluded.
- Current Enrollment: The University must ensure that access to copyrighted electronic materials is granted only to students currently enrolled in the course. Using the University’s learning management system to make courses with copyrighted electronic materials available the public web domain is strictly prohibited.
- Quantity Limitations on the Display of Copyrighted Works: The University must ensure that the displayed amount of a copyrighted electronic work (i.e., graphics, photographs, and short poems) delivered via its learning management system is comparable to the typical displayed amount of the work in face-to-face classrooms. Quantity Limitations on the Display of Copyrighted Works The University must ensure that the displayed amount of a copyrighted electronic work (i.e., graphics, photographs, and short poems) delivered via its learning management system is comparable to the typical displayed amount of the work in face-to-face classrooms.
- Quantity Limitations on Copyrighted Performances: The University must obtain a license to perform works originating from motion pictures or audiovisual works in their entirety. A reasonable and limited portion of these works may be performed without a license, provided “reasonable” and “limited portion” is interpreted to mean a comparable portion of the work would be performed in face-to-face classrooms, the instructor has a clearly defined rationale for use of the works, and the works are suitable for the level of the course. Copyrighted electronic works should not be produced for their sole use in online instruction.
- Download Controls: The University must take measures to prevent the retention and/or dissemination of electronic works for longer than the prescribed duration of the course. Copyrighted articles in the public web domain must be accessed via web links. Uploading these articles to the University’s learning management system is prohibited unless permission is granted by the copyright owner. Copyrighted articles may also be accessed by requesting a link to the articles from the library staff. Electronic materials such as video and audio should be streamed to avoid the unlawful downloading of copyrighted materials.
- Notice of Copyright: The University must ensure that each course states the following: “This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety of any portion thereof, under penalty of law.” The University must also ensure that all copyrighted electronic materials are explicitly labeled or identified as copyrighted material
Making Copies of Copyrighted Media
The following policies must be followed to prevent the unlawful reproduction or duplication of copyrighted electronic materials by University employees.
- Backup Copies: No employee is permitted to make backup copies of copyrighted audio, video, text, slides, images, animations, or computer programs. There is no provision in the TEACH Act to make backup copies of these types of copyrighted materials. An exception is made in the Act to permit the copying of computer programs for maintenance or repair.
- Video Reproduction: No employee is permitted to reproduce a video in its entirety without written permission from the copyright owner. Written permission to reproduce video must be obtained for each term the video is used. Producing a video in its entirety without permission from the copyright owner is copyright infringement. All employees are permitted to stream video for use in their online, blended, and web-enhanced courses.
- Ripping: No employee is permitted to make a copy of any copyrighted media (i.e., images, videos, audio, slides, animations, or computer programs) to a computer owned by the University. The TEACH Act does not permit the “ripping” of media from any removable media such as compact discs (CD), DVDs, or flash drives. Exceptions are freeware (i.e., proprietary software that is available for use at no monetary cost) and shareware (i.e., full or limited proprietary software products offered as a free trial) offered in the public domain for download.
- Duplication: Equipment No employee is permitted to provide student access to duplication equipment owned by the University to make copies of copyrighted images, slides, animations, videos, computer programs, or audio. An exception is made for student workers under the direct supervision of a University employee who has been granted or received written permission from the copyright owner to reproduce or duplicate media.
- Analog Materials: Employees may make copies of analog materials if:
- The materials are not available to the University in a digital format,
- The materials are free from technological protections that would prevent authorized uses of the materials,
- The materials are used for mediated instructional activities, and
- The copies are retained only by the University.
- Publisher Materials: Employees must adopt the textbook that accompanies publisher materials they intend to use. Adoption of the textbook is required for each section of the course offered and across all terms the course is offered.
- Library Collections: Copyrighted media included in the library’s collection or found on the library’s website must be password protected to prevent duplication.
Distributing Print Materials
The following are guidelines to prevent the unlawful distribution of print materials.
- Printing: Employees must provide students a link to print materials found on the web. Downloading and printing materials for distribution is not permitted unless employees can establish that the Fair Use Doctrine permits such downloading and printing of materials.
- Redistribution: The uploading of material downloaded from the web is not permitted.
- Third-party Supplemental Materials: Employees must adopt the textbooks associated with the copyrighted supplemental materials they use. There is no provision under the TEACH Act to exempt employees from copyright infringement if their use of copyrighted supplemental materials is not associated with a textbook adoption.
Using Online Courses & Portions of Courses
The following provides guidelines for using online courses or portions of courses created by others.
- Author Consent: Written consent must be obtained from the course owner to use courses and/or course materials not owned by the University. Using a course that the University does not own without consent is copyright infringement.
- Author Credit: Credit must be given to authors of course materials used in all courses, including University-owned courses. Acknowledgement of the scholarship of others protects subsequent instructors from plagiarism.
- Publisher Permission: The use of publisher materials (i.e., documents, test banks, slides, media, and case studies) is only permitted when an instructor has adopted the associated textbook. Use of publisher materials in multiple sections of online courses is permitted provided that each instructor using the materials has adopted the associated textbook. Publisher materials may also be copied to future terms of online courses provided that the adopted textbook requirement has been met.
- Website Links: University employees are permitted to link to appropriate, non-infringing materials on the Internet. No employee is permitted to link to websites containing DeCSS code (i.e., decryption software) or copies of current motion pictures.
- Time Limits: Copyrighted text material used in a password protected course may be used for one term only without permission under the Guidelines on Multiple Copying for Classroom Use. Written permission must be obtained for subsequent use of the material. Graphics, sound recordings, motion pictures, video recordings have no time limitations under the TEACH Act; however, use of these materials is restricted to reasonable portions of the materials or materials needed to support an instructor-mediated activity.